Posts From July 2008
Can I tell you how strange it is for me to review a Summer collection? I’m so in Fall mode that I forgot how to enjoy Summer!
Fall comes way to early for us beauty bloggers! Sheesh!
However, I did think I should stop and smell the flowers, take in the sun, and enjoy a nice Japanese Collection this week!
I hate to think how long I’ve been hanging on to KATE’s Summer Collection without reviewing it. It’s been months I’m sure since I got it and I’m just now getting around to the review. You’ll forgive your Muse for being so lack with Summer won’t you?
KATE is a Japanese brand and one of Kanebo’s sub brands that contains a healthy amount of edge to it that I simply adore!
One of my favorite products from KATE are the Dual Carat Eye Shadows. I own every single color that KATE has put out thus far and with the Summer Collection they released three new colors.
Before I show you the new colors I think a review of KATE Dual Carat Eye Shadows is in order as I’ve never really done a detailed review on the palettes before. Each palette contains two shimmerings shades of shadow in a tiny compact with a sponge tipped applicator. A majority of Japanese eye shadows almost always have the same formula with a few in between that have a completely different consistency. KATE Dual Carat Eye Shadows have an almost identical texture and formula as most of these brands however I do feel like it has an added something that makes the shadow superior to others I’ve tried before.
Each shade contains a healthy dose of shimmer and sparkle which I love. The formula is a similar chalky, creamy texture as most major brands however I feel like these blend much better due to the silky consistency of the powder. The shimmer is equally silky and gives a certain sparkle to the eye which make these my favorite duos!
This Summer KATE extended the Dual Carat Line to include three new shades which were GD-1, WT-1, and BK-1. The shades aren’t typical Summer in my opinion but this didn’t stop me from purchasing all three and lavishing major love on them.
Before I get on to the color selections I think it deserves to be mentioned that all the looks you’ll see below are done exclusively with the palettes and using nothing else aside from mascara. I think not using extra products gives you a better review and idea of how the palette looks on without adding in extras if that makes sense. So each look I created was using the palette and nothing more!
I’m particularly thrilled with GD-1 which sports a shimmering gold and a shimmering creamy white. If you’re getting a bit older and seeing a bit of baggage under your eyes or a few lines here and there or you’re just tired and seeking something to brighten up your eye area GD-1 will sincerely do wonders with your eyes! I couldn’t stop looking in the mirror after applying this. It made me look years younger, wide awake, and gave a beautiful pop to my lids. I used the creamy white as an all over wash on my eye and the gold on my lid. This is a particular good way to use it if your eyes are extremely wide and buggy like mine. However, I think it’s flattering on Asian eyes if you apply the creamy white as a color wash and the gold in the corner of the eyes both outer and inner!
WT-1 is my least favorite of the three shadows. It’s a very nice combination of a white and creamy light taupe color however the colors are too similar so you can’t really see much of a contrast when they are applied together. I tried sporting the white as an all over color wash and applying the taupe to my lid however it appeared I was wearing only one shade. A tad disappointing but I can definately make use of both colors as a highlighter for my highbrow, as a color wash, or simply alone as a shadow instead of together. Together they don’t work so well but alone they really wake up the eye and bring out a certain delicious natural look!
Now my second favorite (or possibly first) is BK-1 which is the ideal palette for a smoky look plus heaps cheaper than shelling out for Bare Minerals Rocker Chick Kit. KATE already released a duo like this previously in the Dual Carat collection however I felt like this one was different. The other version, the number/name of which escapes me at the moment, is a bit darker where as this is a lighter grayer version. If you already have the previous color I’d still recommend indulging in this one as well. I created an uber awesome smokey eye look with this color!
I purchased these at retail which is maybe $9-$10 USD per a palette? Perhaps a bit more I can’t recall. A friend in Japan got them for me and airmailed ’em over! However, I’ve seen them online for $15.50 USD or a bit less depending on where you shop (see my Japanese Cosmetic Buying Guide for further information about where you can purchase these!). At a cost of $15.50 USD I do believe they are worth. They are pigmented, beautifully shimmery, and are good quality eye shadows.
The Muse Approves the new KATE Dual Carat Eye Shadows for purchase! Definitely grab ’em! They are a must have in my humblest and the colors will work well into the Fall and Winter.
Love the Dual Carat shadows?
What’s your favorite KATE eye palette?
Check out the KATE website by clicking here!
Tell the Muse!
KATE Glamtrick Palette Review
KATE Gel Mascara Review
KATE Spring Collection 2008 Review
I got my Lush Times in the mail yesterday and all the new stuff is inside! Over 20 New Items! This is the biggest release of products from Lush in a while! Yay! I’ve already placed an order from Lush UK for some of the products as they are already available! Dates for the US release still aren’t set but as soon as I know I’ll post! Lush has gone out of it’s way to release some great items and I’m VERY excited about them!
They released three new moisturizers which I’m the most hyper about. I normally use two different moisturizers from Lush. I use Gorgeous almost everyday but in the Winter my skin craves a bit more moisture so I end up using Skins Shangri La as a night cream and also during the day. I’ve been using a combination of both now for about 5 years or more however I am definately switching up with the newest releases! I can’t recall the last time Lush has released new moisturizers so I’m terribly excited about this!
The first one that caught my eye is Paradise Regained. This is the first anti-aging product I’ve seen from Lush. I’ve been searching for an anti-aging moisturizer for a while now but I had a hard time giving up my very beloved pot of Gorgeous to replace it with harsher ingredients so I’m very happy that Lush now has one! I placed an order for this so expect a review pretty soon!
If one wasn’t enough Lush went ahead and indulged us in a second anti-aging moisturizer entitled Skin Nanny. Since I had a hard time deciding between the two I also ordered Skin Nanny. Skin Nanny actually sounds really, really good and maybe even better than Paradise Regained. It promise sun protection, skin hydration, contains omega 6 oils, Vitamin C, and a ton of other fresh ingredients including apple juice (I bet it smells awesome!) to make our face happy, healthy, and wrinkle free! Yay!
And finally another intriguing moisturizer which I didn’t indulge in but was tempted by would be the new Vanishing Cream. This is for acne and oily skin! I was tempted to indulge in a pot for the Summer when my skin is feeling a bit oily but Summer is almost over so it wouldn’t be a good idea to indulge in a pot as these products are fresh and expire after one year. Maybe next Summer!
The moisturizers definately have me dancing around in excitement and I can barely wait until my order ships out! If you’re as excited as the Muse and can’t wait for the US releases hop on over to Lush UK to buy them! Shipping is reasonable and works out to about what you’d pay for products stateside due to high shipping from Canada (Lush NA is located in Canada) to the US plus if you’re a Lush addict you already know that Lush UK is a better quality product than what is offered within the US (of course that’s an expert’s opinion! Your Muse knows quality!).
Price Comparsion Chart:
Skin Nanny $46.95 USD
Paradise Regained $46.95 USD
Vanishing Cream $35.95 USD
Skin Nanny £25.00
Paradise Regained £29.38
Vanishing Cream £15.00
Ok on with the show….
Lush also released several new bath bombs one of which I’ve already told you about entitled White Wedding! Get this Gaiman Fans….Lush has a new bath bomb entitled…Stardust!!!!!!!! How awesome is that? We know how Neil loves his Lush (the Muse thinks he should take Lush baths with her and maybe scrub her back a bit too…just a suggestion..). The Muse got a bit wonky and ordered five. Sometimes a girl needs a bit of Jasmine, Tonka, Ylang, and Stardust to unwind after a long stressful day!
Other new bombs released are English Countryside and Vanilla Fountain. English Countryside sounds similar to Chelsea Gardens bath bomb and Vanilla Fountain is truly something new. It’s supposedly a highly vanilla scented bomb! It’s rare Lush does anything foody or sweet as the line leans towards more floral, herbal, earthy, and green but occasionally they do something awesome and I believe Vanilla Fountain has awesome written all over it!
Price Comparison Chart:
English Countryside $5.95 USD
White Wedding $5.95 USD
Vanilla Foundation $5.95 USD
Stardust $5.95 USD
English Countryside £2.95
White Wedding £2.75
Vanilla Foundation £2.75
Two new shower gels have been released as well which the Muse already owns. I’ve been holding off reviewing these shower gels because there was no way you could order them and it felt unfair to review a product you’d never be able to find. The new shower gels are entitled Yummy Yummy Yummy and Rub Rub Rub. I’ve had both since the start of June when I ordered them at a UK Forum Party. The UK does forum parties occasionally that allow you to order forum exclusive goodies which is how I got mine. You can see my haul from that party by clicking here. Now that both are available for purchase I’ll be reviewing them for you today and tomorrow!
Price Comparison Chart:
Yummy Yummy Yummy $25.95 USD (Largest Size Available)
Rub Rub Rub $25.95 USD (Largest Size Available)
Yummy Yummy Yummy£9.95
Rub Rub Rub £9.95
For as far back as I can remember Lush addicts have always complained about one thing, the lack of bath bombs for the shower! People have ranted and raved how unjust and unfair it is that without a bath tub they couldn’t experience the joys of a bath bomb! Lush has heard the cries of fans everywhere and has released four new bath bombs for your shower! If you happen to live in a location that sports a shower only without a tub you’ll be overjoyed! These little fizzies are place on the floor of your shower and release a beautiful scent when the water from your shower head hits them! Fun right? These are tinier in size than your normal bath bomb and cheaper to by the way! And yes they do go right down the drain but who cares the novelty alone thrills the Muse…she did so indulge in grabbing a few for her very own!
The new bombs are entitled Emotibombs and are around £1.95 each. I’m unsure of prices within the US as of yet but I estimate about $2.50-$3.50 USD.
Ahhh soap! I love me some Lush soap! Four new soaps are available for your showering (or bathing) pleasure, one of which I’ve already told you about entitled The Godmother!
The others are B Electro Soap (this has been around a good month or so now), Porridge Soap, and Spice Curls. Spice Curls seems to be in a similar vein as Karma but don’t quote me on that! Porridge Soap is a scrub soap used for exfoliating those rough elbows and knees where as the other three soaps are just an indulgence of yummie fragrances for all!
I already own B Electro Soap and The Godmother and both are wonderful! I’m doubtful I’ll indulge in Porridge Soap or Spice Curls though.
Price Comparison Chart:
Prices are based on a 1/4 lb (100g) slice of soap if you ask for a larger slice you’ll be charged accordingly.
B Electro Soap $7.95 USD
The Godmother $6.75 USD
Spice Curls $6.95 USD
Porridge Soap $6.75 USD
B Electro Soap £3.50
The Godmother £2.50
Spice Curls £2.75
Porridge Soap £2.50
Finally the last release are Toner Tabs which I’m very excited about trying out! These are little fizzy bombs that you can drop in a pot of warm steaming water, place a towel over your head, and give yourself a little mini facial! Cool right? The tabs come in three formulas one of which is entitled Tea Tree Tab which is for toning troubled, traumatized skin! Yips! We all need a little of that love sometime right? The other too are vitamin enriched tabs for toning the face! I have these already but haven’t had a chance to try ’em! Review to come soon! I’m expecting sincerely great things from them! After use it’s suggested that using the liquid after your steam by dipping in a wash cloth and smoothing on!
Price Comparison Chart:
T Tree $1.95 USD
Vitamin E $1.95 USD
Vitamin C $1.95
T Tree £0.75
Vitamin E £0.75
Vitamin C £0.75
Phew that was a long post wasn’t it? The Muse can’t help it she loves Lush!
All in all a really, really exciting release from Lush Fresh Cosmetics. As I mentioned I already have a few of these items and I’ll be bringing you reviews soon! And when I get my UK order I’ll be reviewing the moisturizers, bath bombs, etc…that I ordered!
Have you tried any of the new Lush?
Wanting any of the new items for yourself?
Simply Love Lush?
Tell the Muse!
Visit Lush UK by clicking here and visit Lush NA by clicking here! Not in either location? Click here for your country portal (Japan, New Zealand, Russia, Nederlands, Etc…)
All releases are currently available for your purchasing pleasure from Lush UK which ships worldwide. Lush NA has released a few of the items and will add more soon I imagine! I’ll keep you posted! Other countries I’m unsure! Check with your local Lush store or local Lush website in order to find out when these are items are released or if they are already available!
I recently got my greedy hands on Benefit B Spot while I was at Macy’s and although I wasn’t intending to buy after one sniff I knew I needed to have this.
I originally blogged about this but didn’t really think I’d indulge as I knew of a few other fragrances I really wanted to try prior to shelling out my cash for this particular scent however I sure am glad I decided to stop and sniff.
It’s simply gorgeous. I really should have know as such since Benefit’s Maybe Baby is such a roaring success with the Muse (and the Muse’s sister who possibly loves it more than me!).
The Muse’s stash of Benefit goodies!
Yay Benefit we have another winner!
I do so admit to thinking the notes on this particular scent were a bit wonky. I mean mangoes, freesia, peony and sandalwood sounds like ALOT to take on. Turns out they all work rather well together in a nice neighborly fashion to create Benefit B Spot.
I’m not great at explaining scent as you maybe noticed from my previous posts about perfume and such but I’ll do my best. The scent is very calming, very fresh, and very potent. The freesia is the most prominent note in the blend and it dominates however the edge of the sandalwood plus the floral and fruit take away from the cheapness freesia note to create a very unique and interesting blend. Freesia is a lovely scent however it does hold a certain cheapness about it simply because it’s used in so many body sprays around and after a while you begin to associate freesia with every $5 buck body spray you see hanging out on drugstore shelves.
However, the blend is very, very interesting and unique. It’s quite fresh but it holds a certain seductive feel about it. Interestingly enough spraying this on certain areas of your body will heat the fragrance and allow it to release the scent as your body temperature warms.
Benefit has always successfully created quality Eau de Toilette that holds well, lingers, and creates fantastic throw all day long. The lasting power on this is brilliant. It’ll take you from morning till night with absolutely no touch ups in between and in the case of Eau de Toilette that’s saying ALOT. The scent just lingers on and on!
Recently I was sitting in the back seat of the car with a colleague (and friend) from Chicago who asked what I was wearing. This was saying something as I had sprayed myself with B Spot at 5 AM and here it was going on 6 in the evening and I was obviously still smelling wonderful if she noticed! At $38 USD for 1.7 oz this is not alot to spend on a good quality fragrance that offers considerably long wear.
I think Benefit has ALWAYS excelled at creating super fragrances as Maybe Baby can attest to that.
Benefit B Spot gets a big rave from the Muse and a seal of Muse Approval for purchase!
Definitely head in to your local counter and try it yourself! I guarantee you won’t be able to walk out of the store without buying one for yourself!
Can’t wait? Click over to Benefit’s website and purchase one for your very self!
Wanna try it but not sure you wanna buy it?
This one is easy enough I’d say maybe a bit tricky too!
I’m sure you all know the translation tool Babel Fish correct? I use it constantly as I am always browsing different Japanese, Korean, French, Etc…websites! When my nifty translation widget I have installed in my browser fails me I turn to the popular Babel Fish to do all my translating for me!
So here in lays the quiz question for your chance to win!
Where does the name and the “concept” Babel Fish originate from? Hint: Look to my profile and you’ll notice a hint and a clue that may help you solve this little puzzle!
What’s to win?
I have three small sample sprayers of Benefit B Spot to give away to those who comment correctly!
Comments will not be posted until Friday so if you comment and your answer does not appear right away that would be why!
Each person who guesses correctly will be entered for a chance to win a small sample sprayer of Benefit B Spot!
If you’re loving Benefit B Spot check out the invite below celebrating this new fragrance from Benefit!
Check out dates and listings below to see if your area is having a Benefit B Spot event! You’ll receive a complimentary makeup lesson plus a free gift if you spend $65 USD or more on Benefit cosmetics!
Click the image and print the invitation!
Enjoy some past posts about fragrance by clicking below!
Love Potion Magical Perfumeire Review
Beauty on a Budget: Twice as Clean Perfume Gift Set
Demeter Fragrance: The Tootsie Collection (Review Coming Soon….)
Bath and Body Works Twisted Peppermint Shimmering Body Spray Review
The Muse’s Obssession with Bnever Perfume
I’ve probably been on this topic for far too long so you’ll have to excuse me for squealing some more! I recently was featured on Etude House’s blog which was utterly thrilling for me! Soon after that a wonderful reader told me that I was featured in Etude House’s little in-store pamphlet which totally made me flip out!
Yesterday I got home and had a letter from Korea waiting for me. I was puzzling over this as I was expecting some packages from Korea but not a letter. I quickly ripped it open in curiosity and I realized that my very, very, very kind reader had sent me the Etude House in-store pamphlet which features your little Muse on the front page!
Can I tell you how exciting this is for me? I simply adore Korean culture and it’s just an honor to be included in the freaking Etude House newsletter! Sheesh, talk about super flattering!
I realize some blogs have made it into popular fashion magazines and others have even made it into the New York Times. Those are seriously great accomplishments but for me this feels ten times better than appearing in a US magazine or newspaper. Reaching out to international readers is something I truly love about my blog. I simply adore my Asian readers and truly to be recognized for my hard work in carving out a niche not many beauty blogs cover really makes me feel like Musings is just a little bit unique and different in comparison to other beauty blogs you read. You can read about the latest MAC collection across the blogsphere and get some seriously great reviews on awesome products. But it always pleases me that you can stop here at Musings, during your daily clicks, and read about the latest and greatest not only in the US but also Japan, Singapore, Korea, England, etc….I think that’s what makes Musings extra special and I take alot of pride in that!
Anyway, all gushing aside here’s some pics of the newsletter and the Muse smiling from the front page!
A big thank you to that special reader who sent this my way! Thank you SO much!
And of course a really big thank you to the Etude House team who put this together! If you’re reading this the Muse sends her love and hugs!
Show Etude House some love by clicking through their awesome website! Clickie!
Here’s the inside of the newsletter! Notice they are advertising the Shebert Cool Party Summer Collection! I’ll be reviewing it very soon so do stay tuned!
Alot of hype surrounds NYX eye shadows. I’ve read many a review, many a post, and many a discussion about how wonderful NYX eye shadows are and how close in pigmentation they are to MAC.
I personally never purchased any NYX eye shadows until recently when I came across a display at Harmons and my eyes were drawn to the NYX eye shadow color in Hot Orange.
It’s such an awesome Summer shade.
Although Hot Orange is quite a gorgeous shade it’s not without it’s flaws. As I mentioned this is my first time purchasing an NYX eye shadow and being a MAC girl myself it’s definately difficult to compare MAC to NYX in quality but you can perhaps chalk that up to your Muse being very picky about cosmetics.
This particular shade is a bit gritty as it contains a healthy dose of what appears to be non cosmetic glitter, really chunky pieces of the type a glitter you’d use for some after school crafts are something….yak!
The pigmentation is pretty good on the shadow and it blended pretty well aside from the glitter getting everywhere. I did notice that the texture was not as silky as a MAC eye shadow and I did have to swipe a few times and build the color up to get the desired vibrancy that I’d get easily with one swipe from a MAC shadow.
On the plus side the color is such a great Summer shade. The orange is wonderful by itself or combined with some golds or yellows from your collection! Plus the price can’t be beat at $4.99 USD!
For the price I’d say it’s worth checking out and it’s a very nice Summer Beauty Budget Find! Will I buy NYX again? Possibly!
If you’re trying to keep your beauty budget tight this is a great little find to add a bit of wicked color to your Summer makeup routine!
The Muse working NYX Hot Orange (or at least trying to work it!):
Want another beauty budget find? Check out the review for the mascara the Muse is wearing in this Face of the Day picture! Wondering about my blush? It’s the cheap Bobbi Brown blush I picked up in Woodbury! Clickie!
Enjoy some other Summer Must Have Cosmetic findings by reading some past posts!
NARS Lipgloss in Misbehave
Too Faced Eye Shadow in Mess in a Dress
Redpoint Airbrush Effects Whipped Blush
The Muse’s favorites for Summer Sizzling Eyes