Beauty Abroad

Etude House Spring Collection 2008: Peach Makeup Collection Review

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Etude House released a rather interesting Spring Collection this year and of course the Muse couldn’t resist picking up most of it for herself!

The Collection consisted of an array of “Peach” Themed items. One item in particular that caught my eye was the Pore Erasing Peach Base. This quite reminded me of Benefit Erase Paste which I didn’t have the best experience with. I guess I’m a glutton for punishment but I decided that I needed to try the Pore Erasing Base because I had convinced myself that it had to be better than Benefit’s version! It’s 11,000 Won for the entire jar that’s under $10 USD! It’s freaking huge at 0.88oz!

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I tested it this morning and it’s not anything like Erase Paste. It’s a pre-makeup primer through and through and sadly my hope that it would have some concealing benefits were quickly dashed as soon as I got it on my skin. I don’t have large pores however this is perfect for creating a smooth, matte finish on your face prior to foundation and makeup. This carries a beautiful scent of peaches as well. Understandably some girls prefer cosmetics without scent but I don’t mind in the least! Whether this allows my makeup to last longer throughout the day remains to be seen but right now I’m loving this as a pre-foundation prep! The texture is quite like Smashbox Photofinish Primer but I felt like it was a bit more moisturizing and blended easier plus I didn’t get a breakout after using it where as with Smashbox’s primer pimples crop up! I did notice although it wasn’t concealing it did lighten my face up a tad bit and almost made me appear ghost like but after applying the next stage of my makeup that effect was gone thankfully.

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For the price I think it’s well worth looking into and trying out if you can get your hands on it! The good news is I got a small sample of this with my purchase and I’m giving it away to the first person that comments and is willing to review it for Musings of a Muse. I’d like to hear your thoughts on this so if you’re willing to review it give a yell! The first person who comments I’ll ship it out to and I’ll expect a review back within a week or so explaining if you loved it, hated it, etc…!

Sample of Etude House Peach Pore Erasing Base for Review!
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I also got the Peach Skin Pact which is best used for setting the Pore Erasing Base. The formula is obviously very good for oily skin types and offers very nice matte coverage. Good for touch ups and setting your foundation plus the compact is so bloody cute it’s no great chore to tote this around with you! I’ll make proper use of this come Summer when my skin decides to take a field trip from dry and venture into oily!

My entire routine for makeup this morning consisted of using the Etude House Pore Peach Base and setting it with the Peach Skin Pact. I used no other foundation in my makeup process as I wanted to dupe the entire look from the video how to on the Etude House website. I don’t normally use powder as my sole foundation since I feel like I need better coverage plus powder wears off very quickly throughout the day! I’m curious if the base will keep the powder intact all day which is why I’m experimenting going without my normal foundation! If it works I’ll be doing this all Summer long as my makeup feels very light today which will be perfect for Summer! This, like the pore base, carries the sweet scent of peaches which I absolutely adore!

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I got two of the Peach Cheek Blushers as well which are basically an exact dupe of Lorac’s Cheek Stamp that was released last season. These appear to be very sheer but they are not. They hold a beautiful pigmentation for an item that’s so cheap! The formula is a bit chalky but that’s simply because it’s catering to an Asian skin type that may be oily. The concept and idea of a cheek stamp is of course awesome not only for ease of application but for the cute factor! I’ve personally never tried Lorac’s version so I couldn’t say how good it is but I’m glad I decided to give these a shot. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept I’ll briefly explain. Basically this is a circle sponge that has blusher in the lid of the product. The sponge is saturated with the powder and you can pop it out and “stamp” it onto your cheeks for a pinch of color!

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Lorac’s Cheek Stamp
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I ended up purchasing the eyeshadow quad that was used in the Etude video as well. It’s actually not LE and is part of the normal collection but I was so juiced over the look they created using everything that I wanted to try and dupe the entire look thus this palette got tucked into my shopping list! It’s basically a quad of four shimmering shades that are very sheer but can be built up. They have about the same pigmentation as a Majolica Majorca Majolook palette. The shades in this particular palette are white, baby pink, light blue, and yellow. The shadows do have the standard chalky texture most Asian brands sport but I don’t mind as I’m used to this from various Japanese brands. They hold a beautiful shimmer and blend very well!

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I also got the Peach Beam Blusher which reminds me of a MAC MSF. It has a metallic shimmer finish that’s applies as a highlight but is pigmented enough to act as a blush! The effect is a beautiful glow! If you enjoy tanned skin during the Summer I imagine this will be very fitting for not only highlighting your cheeks but giving you a beautiful peach kissed look!

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Color Me Nude Lip Concealer also ended up on my shopping list! MAC makes a similar lip concealer but in a pot form. Basically it concealers your lips and primes them for lipstick or gloss. Supposedly when your lips are primed with a concealer your glosses and lipsticks appear more vibrant and bright! As I said MAC’s version comes in a pot and this just seems easier and convenient in stick form! I haven’t yet tried this and will be doing a review of it shortly!

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Staying on track with dupes Etude House also released Tear Drop Lash which is identical to Givenchy’s Lash Sparkles and Dior’s Lash Pearls. This is basically a wand that distributes little tear drops onto your lashes for a bit of an interesting “teardrop” effect! The applicator appears to be thought out a bit better than both Dior and Givenchy’s version! It’s a flat square plastic applicator with a tiny hole. It works quite well at disturbing the product and applying it right on the tips of the lashes! Very nice effect! I wish I can get a really close up image of my eyes so you can see the effect!

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Finally I got the Peach Water Gloss which smells amazing and tastes just as good! I used it this morning and I love how well it applies. It’s a bit sheer but the formula is nice and watery which makes it feel very light on the lips and not tacky or sticky on the lips!

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I got some cool freebies as well which were a cellular phone charm that houses an Etude gloss and a mini toner/lotion set.

All and all I’m thrilled to bits with the collection and it cost me under $85 USD for the entire lot of goodies I got. Inexpensive cosmetics that actually work well totally make the Muse’s day!

This morning as I mentioned I used almost all the collection to create a beautiful peachy pink look that’s both fresh, fun, and girly! I love how the peach contrasts so beautifully with the pink in my FOTD! I’d normally never pair up peaches and pinks but this came out so well that I’ll be doing so from now on!

My attempt to dupe the Etude look as seen on the video!

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What I Used:

Eyes
Etude House Cute and Sexy Eye Quad
KATE Gel Mascara
Etude House Tear Drop Lash

Face
Etude House Pore Erasing Peach Base
Etude House Peach Skin Pact
Etude House Peach Beam Blusher
Etude House Peach Cheek Blusher

Lips
Etude House Peach Water Gloss

The Peach Makeup Collection from Etude House is most definately Muse Approved!

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Click here to learn more about Etude House and other brilliant Korean Brands!

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Bourjois Paris Shimmer Shine Liquid Eye Shadow

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Give your eyes a bit of shimmer and shine with Bourjois Paris Shimmer Shine Liquid Eye Shadow! I ran across these when looking for new collections on Sephora late last night when I couldn’t sleep.

I’ve had a bit of a thing for cream shadows lately so I’m quite interested in giving this a test drive! I just ordered two of the six colors available from Sephora.

Review to follow soonish!

Tried these?

Want to?

Tell the Muse!

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Click here
for details on how to Budget Beauty your Bourjois Paris purchases!

Enjoy Bourjois Paris colors not available within the US by clicking here and here!

Click here
to read by review on Bourjois Paris Eau de Gloss!

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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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