Beauty Abroad

Kesalan Patharan Summer Collection 2008: Summer Art Gradation

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A very tiny Early Summer Collection from Kesalan Patharan includes three new eyeshadow trios for 2,625 yen each. Each trio contains three coordinating gradation colors for eyes or face if you so choose.

This is a bit boring for me as Kesalan Patharan has plenty of trios available within the general catalog the only difference being these have a beautiful floral embed.

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As the price stands I think I can safely skip these.

How about you?

Love ‘em?

Need ‘em?

Tell the Muse!

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Cosme Decorte Magie Deco Shadow Brilliance Palette First Impressions

I got my very first Cosme Decorte haul a few days ago! This isn’t really a review as of yet just my general impressions of the items. I’ll follow with a review and FOTD shortly.

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Mmmm……..Not sure what I think of this quite yet. I really love how beautiful the palette is for sure. It’s an array of five colors which includes a beautiful gold sparkling base that I’m loving. The four other colors are two accent colors one deep mustard and one cranberry, one nuance color which is a bubblegum pink color, and finally a shading color which is a dark chocolate brown.

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The palette is entitled Classy Sexy and if the colors are anything to go by that’s exactly the look you can pull off with this! A beautiful, classy, slightly sexy eye look!

I’ve never been tempted to order any of the palettes prior to this as they carry a high price tag of $55 USD or so which seems absurd to say the least, hell even Givenchy and Chanel is $5-$6 cheaper than this!

But I did come across a rather large stash of Magie Deco on one of the shops I was discussing in my prior Guide to Japanese Cosmetics Shopping post. I got this from Facial Shop and I ordered the palette for $44.99 USD which is a damn deep discount.

I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the palette as of yet. It’s very beautiful but I do feel a slight tinge of disappointment at the price tag.

The palette itself is gorgeous. It’s a beautiful shiny pink mirror compact with gold edging that’s very elegant. Inside are the five shadows and two brushes. And still after all this I’m wondering at the price tag! I guess I have to try it to see if it’s really worth it in the long run!

I also picked up a Fairy Eyes which is a shimmering cream shadow. This is pretty brilliant. Yes, I normally have a deep dislike for cream shadows but I couldn’t resist one that was so full of sparkle, shimmer, and shine. I got mine in a frosty white and after swatching it I’d say the sparkle and shimmer is just right and I’m looking forward to using this as an all over wash with a beautiful black liner for an understated, yet elegant look! This normally retails for $20 USD or so but I got it from Facial Shop for $17.99 USD! Mind you the prices also include shipping so obviously you can see it’s a super deal!

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I’ve been wandering around the Cosme Decorte website for ages and I literally drool at the model images and looks created using the products but I fail to have the same wow aspiring feeling I did when I finally got a palette for my own! Maybe the color selection is the problem? I’m unsure!

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The instruction booklet is available both in Japanese and English which I appreciate greatly. I wish they included an eye chart but I imagine I can get tons of inspiration off the website as they have many great eye charts available to look at!

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All in all I am liking the items but haven’t yet felt any love for the palette! I’m hoping once I try it out for myself I’ll feel quite differently!

Review and FOTD to follow very soon so keep your eyes open!

Own any of these palettes?

Love ‘em?

Want to try ‘em?

Tell the Muse!

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A Guide to Shopping for Japanese Cosmetics

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I get a crumb load of questions asking me how to shop for Japanese Cosmetics.

Where can I buy Japanese Cosmetics?
How much do they cost?
Any online shops I can buy them from?
Where do you get your Japanese Cosmetics?

I was going to do this post a very long time ago but I just never really had the chance and it was long forgotten on the bottom of my draft pile of blog entries that never got posted!

I’ve tweaked it a bit and rewrote most of it so here it is in all it’s glory!

First of all many Japanese brands are unavailable within the US, UK, and Europe in general. I’ve discussed a few various brands available in a few countries such as Korea, Japan, etc…this particular post will be a guide for purchasing Japanese Cosmetics but in a future post I may cover a few other countries.

If you’re purchasing Japanese Cosmetics online you’ll have to educate yourself a bit on prices and also arm yourself with a few tools.

My first suggestion is install a Chinese and Japanese Language Pack for your browser so you can view various Japanese Websites and get prices on various items prior to purchasing. Downloading and installing these packs will also unable you to copy the text and paste it into a translation tool which helps when trying to figure out what is going on at certain sites.

Click here to download the Japanese Language Pack

Click here to download the Chinese Language Pack

Note: For viewing Taiwanese, Hong Kong, and a few select Chinese sites you may need to install the Traditional Chinese Language Pack as these countries, cultures, and regions use a traditional, more complex form of character than other sites.

I’ve actually found that it doesn’t matter too much which Language Pack you choose however I have all three installed as I find it does make it a tiny bit easier during the tedious translation process!

The reason I recommend this is because most online shops charge anywhere from $5 USD all the way up to $12 USD on top of retail prices. Prices are a good deal higher online then if you happened into a drugstore in Japan and purchased the item yourself!

I almost always pay retail for my Japanese Cosmetics because I have some sincerely beautiful, wonderful friends that live in Japan and do shopping for me. However, on occasion, I am forced to buy items online. In cases like this I want to be sure that I am getting the best deal possible so I do alot of homework prior to purchasing items.

You should also keep in mind that many drugstores in Japan discount various items 25-30% which means the retail prices online do not reflect the discount.

Example:

T’estimo Palettes are shown on the Kanebo website at the price of $30 USD or so however upon purchasing one in a drugstore in Japan the actually cost would be $20 USD or so due to the drugstore discount.

This means it’s an open market for online sellers to charge you $30 and upwards for a palette they paid $20 USD or so for.

Currently, the Yen is very, very strong so you might want to Google around a bit and see if you can locate any Taiwanese shops that sell Japanese Cosmetics as the cost is a bit lower.

I highly recommend JPmon which is located within Taiwan. I’ve done a “how to order” from JPMon on another tutorial page you can find that article by clicking here and here. You’ll be happy to know that the prices measure up pretty nicely with what you’d see on Japanese sites however not the discount you’d get within a Japanese drugstore as mentioned above!

I’ve ordered from JPmon many, many times and I’ve always been very pleased with their services so I highly recommend purchasing from them! If you have a few online friends or friends in general into cosmetics doing a bit of “spree” with friends can cut shipping costs and each of you can split the total cost of shipping which always helps!

Another important tool you’ll need is a currency convertor. This is especially helpful for converting Yen to your currency of choice. This is good tool to have when you’re browsing various Japanese websites and looking at prices to see what the original cost of an item is versus what the online shop you’re buying from is charging. I use XE for conversions. It’s not the best convertor in the world but it does an ok job and is off a few cents at most.

Click here to bookmark XE.

Finally the last tool you’ll need is a translator. This is especially helpful for figuring out what certain items are for, what the details are for an item, etc…

Babel Fish does an ok job with translations but definately not word for word as the language is so complex that “literally” translating it into English (or your language of choice) doesn’t always mean you’ll understand exactly what is going on!

Click here to bookmark Babel Fish.

Babel Fish is especially useful as it translates both simplified and traditional Chinese plus Japanese as well!

I don’t use Babel Fish as much as I do a simple add on for Firefox entitled Translator. It works a treat and makes translating full websites a snap!

You can download this extension by clicking here!

Not many shops online sell Japanese Cosmetics but there are a few that I’ve used in the past and have had great experiences and success with!

Those sites are, as follows:

  • www.adambeauty.com
  • www.bobodave.com
  • www.facial-shop.com
  • www.ichibankao.com
  • www.jpmon.com
  • www.gooddealer.com
  • sh1.yahoo.edyna.com/hijapan (I’m sorry but I do not have a tutorial for ordering from Hi Japan but maybe I’ll do one in the future!)

The best possible prices are located at Adam Beauty and JPMon in my humble opinion and Facial Shop also has some incredible deals as well!

Other places you might see Japanese Cosmetics from would be E-bay. E-bay has many sellers that sell various Japanese Cosmetics. I find asking for a deal on shipping, asking for lower prices, etc..sometimes works with E-bay sellers. Remember to be courtesy when asking and reasonable. If something is marked as $39.99 USD and they want $9.99 shipping don’t go and ask them to give it to you for $20 with Free Shipping. I think you understand my point?

I also find that dealing with the same E-bay Seller over and over again makes the chances of scoring a deal from them easier!

Please keep in mind prior to purchasing cosmetics that freshness is important! I find in some cases some online shops do sell older items. This is particular true of BoboDave on occasion and Hi Japan. The good thing about this is that some items, such as LE, are still available from these shops but the bad thing is the product is older. Keep that in mind prior to making your purchase! This is one reason I do not shop at Strawberry.net. Items are awfully old and beyond shelf date!

Below is a list of links for various Japanese Brands that I adore (I’m sure I left a few out!):

I think I pretty much covered everything you need to know about ordering Japanese Cosmetics. If you need any help do comment and I’ll happily help in anyway I can!

Good Luck and Happy Shopping!

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Lavshuca Summer Collection 2008

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Lavshuca has updated it’s website with the Summer Collection!

It appears this Summer they are releasing two new palettes similar in style to the Holiday Palettes however these appear far better quality. Each palette seems to hold six eyeshadow shades. These come in two variations a cooler version which include blues, silvers, and greens and a warmer version which include golds, browns, and beiges. Both look simply gorgeous. Although I am missing the normal style of palettes released from Lavshuca I’m really not minding these at all! They are most definately in my cart for purchase when they are released!

The Holiday Palettes were made of cardboard and these appear to be made of either plastic or metal (I’d say plastic) which is nice as I found the Holiday Palettes a bit delicate!

I’m unsure of the price at this point as Kanebo has not yet updated the catalog with the info but as soon as I know I’ll pass it on to you!

I can’t wait to get my hands on these! These are simply beautiful and I’m positive if you’re a Lavshuca fan you’ll want them as much as me!

Want ‘em?

Love ‘em?

Tell the Muse!

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Click here
to enjoy my review on the Lavshuca Winter Make Holiday Palettes!

Click here
to enjoy my review on the Lavshuca Spring Collection 2008!

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Majorca Majolica Summer Collection 2008: Miss Treasure Hunter

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Majorca Majolica’s website has been updated with the brand new Summer Collection. The theme for the Collection is Miss Treasure Hunter.

You have to use your arrow keys on your keyboard to “walk” through the scenes of the website and find the hidden clues of the Collection!

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A-ha I’ve found something! The following look is created using some of the items from the brand new Collection! It’s very Summery with gold and bright orange on the eye area! Take note that the model is also wearing the latest version of Majorca Majolica’s Mascara!

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The new mascara is a burnt orange color and appears to go very well with golds! I’m very eager to get my hands on it!

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The Collection also includes three new nail varnishes in orange, silver, and blue colors!

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And finally a shimmering loose powder in a beautiful burnt orange color that will go perfectly with the new version of the mascara!

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Although small the Collection appears to pack a nice punch! I’m looking forward to getting both the mascara and the loose powder!

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Take a blast through the Muse’s past and peek at my post about Majolica Majorca’s Spring Collection Website Update by clicking here!

Enjoy my latest review on Majolica Majorca’s Mascara by clicking here!

Read about Majorca Majolica’s other loose shimmering powder that was released with the Holiday Collection by clicking here!

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