I’m happy to say my first Lush Holiday order arrived from England today. Squee! I only got a few things as I’m currently clearing out my Lush stash and trying to see what I do and do not need to stock up on but I wanted to do a little low down here because many of you are curious about ordering from England. Now Lush is readily available in stores (look for your location here) and online to US shoppers but if you’ve been tempted to order from Lush UK because you’ve wanted to indulge in some of the Gorilla Perfumes we haven’t yet gotten or exclusive items that Lush US doesn’t carry, I wanted to give you a brief run down.
Dunno about you but I’m really into bright, vibrant shades for Spring/Summer but lately I’ve really tamed down my wild makeup ways so this year I’m kinda embracing natural and nude for the warmer weather. Because honestly, who wants to wear a ton of eye makeup, face makeup, gloss, etc…on a hot day. Right?
Korres agrees which is why they created the online exclusive Korres Pure Nude Collection. Think amazingly flattering, minimalistic nude shades for lips and eyes. Think you likey?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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:
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!):
Sometime ago a reader and mate, Taryn, was kind enough to create a registration tutorial for JPmon for the readings of Musings of a Muse!
I had originally created a JPmon tutorial for ordering but a few of you had asked me about registering and for the life me I can’t recall how I registered for the site! Duh!
But Taryn was kind enough to create a most excellent tutorial to get you all registered up prior to following my tutorial for ordering!
So here’s your first step in registering with JPmon! After this you can click here to use my tutorial to help with processing and completing your order!
If you’re clueless about JPmon allow me to explain that’s it’s an online shop that sells tons of Japanese and Asian Cosmetic Brands! The prices are decent and not too bad! Airmail shipping costs aren’t fabulous but JPmon has many brands you can’t find in online shops so it’s a great place to stock up on unique and unusual cosmetic items!
If you have online (or offline) mates that are into Japanese cosmetics you can do a bit of a group order to save on your shipping costs!
On with Taryn’s great tutorial (click the images to enlarge):
Thanks Taryn! A ton of people are going to be very happy to have this!
One of my readers, Millie, asked very sweetly for a Tutorial using the Lavshuca Winter Make Palette in 01, which is the Berry Mix, and of course I’d be happy to do it for her (I’m flattered she asked!)!
I’m crap at Tutorials but I hope this helps somehow Millie!
Keep in mind Millie is Asian and sadly my eyes are nowhere (as you know they are rather large and buggy) near Asian in appearance so this might not be of help to some of you or Poor Millie for that matter!
This is really simple one but I think it has the potential to look very natural, elegant, and pretty!
One of the main colors in the palette is a very pale, light shade of pink and I find that the pink actually contrasts beautifully with the dark purplish liner in the palette. The funny thing about the liner is when it’s on your eye it reflects off of the rather washed out pink color and makes it appear a berry purple color.
Before I start the tutorial I thought I’d post the promo images so you can see the shadow in action on Puffy!
Our model on the left hand side is wearing the palette I’ll be using! The thing that I love about Lavshuca is that the models don’t appear heavily made up nor do they appear to be wearing something that isn’t in the palette that they are advertising. The look doesn’t appear to be too difficult to create or leave you with a feeling of how in the world can I create this using just this palette!
The only thing I did notice about the models is that they may be wearing a bit of a heavier liner on the lower and possibly the upper lash lines! Aside from that the colors are identical to what is in the palette!
I buy tons of cosmetics and I always see promo images with models wearing the makeup and it influences me to purchase a particular shade or palette and of course when I get home the colors never work together or I’m unable to recreate the same look as the model because obviously the colors weren’t used on the model or they photo shopped the hell out of the image! It deserves to be said this happens mostly with western brands I’ve noticed!
I babbled enough! On with the tutorial!
Here’s what I created using my Winter Make palette! I took two sets of photos, one set consists of me using only the lipcream and glitter top gloss on my lips. After I completed my look I just felt my lips weren’t “popping” enough so I added some Sony CP Curvy Lip Silicon on top! My face appears super duper white in the images! Apologies but the flash from my camera was reflecting off my shirt and giving me the look of a ghost!
What I Used:
Eyes: Lavshuca Winter Make Palette in 01
Lips: Lavshuca Winter Make Palette Sony CP Curvy Lip Silicon
Face: NARS Blush in Angelika
Ok now that I’ve exhausted you with babblings and pictures I’ll get on with the tutorial!
I started by taking the lightest cream shade on the left hand side of the palette and worked it from my highbrow all the way to my crease. Use the applicator the palette came with! The sponge applicator is the perfect way to pack on the color and especially handy since the colors are so light! I need alot of the color but if you’re Asian one nice coat of the cream shade should do it, if not pick up more color and work it in.
After giving my highbrow and crease a wash of color with the cream I took the pink shade (middle color) and worked it onto my lid. I dipped about three times into the palette to build up the pink as it’s such a light color. Again, if you’re Asian you might not need as much as it might cake. My eyes dominate my face and I have ALOT of eye area to cover so three times is about the right amount for me.
Millie said she was having a difficult time with the liner palette and wondering if she should line her upper and lower line. I personally opped to line my lower lash line and as you can see the models also sport the liner on the bottom lash line however Millie had expressed she felt it looked weird on! You can always just use the pale pink on your lower lash line instead and it’ll brighten the look up!
In order to achieve the “smoke” of the look I drew a large line onto my eye using the last color in the palette. I proceeded to use a smudge eye brush (if you don’t have one just use a small eyeshadow brush) to blend the color into my lash line and “smoke” it out so to speak. I know from prior use that the purple black of the color looked a tad weird on my bottom lash line as well so before applying I take a bit of the pink and line with that and I proceed to take whatever remains on my applicator from my upper lining (don’t dip again you’ll have plenty on the applicator left over from prior application on your upper lashline) and line my lower eye! If you find that you don’t have enough of the color to line the lower lash line very lightly re-dip and proceed to line a bit more. Don’t over do it. It’s a very strange purple color so use a tiny bit and you’ll find you get just the look you want!
After that I used the lipcream, applied the glitter top gloss and done! I found that the color was too matte for me so I used a bit of gloss to spice it up!
And Bob’s your uncle! You’ve got a killer look using the Winter Make Tutorial!
I know I don’t have a ton of pics to accompany the tutorial but I did this prior to work this morning as I just got Millie’s comment this morning!
Hope it helps Millie!!!!!!!
Maybe you’ll send some pics so we can see what you create!
Click here to read my first impressions of the Lavshuca Winter Make Collection!
I imagine many of you have the Shiseido Majorca Majolica’s Holiday Majolook palettes on your Christmas and Holiday Wish Lists!
I know I did!
I got my collection a little bit ago and finally got around to blogging about it, you can see that blog post by clicking here.
I’m about to show you what I created with this and I thought I’d do a bit of a written tutorial as well. I’m about to babble a bit so be prepared to be enlightened or bored silly if it’s the latter I’ll wake you when I’m done.
I cracked open SV801 today and did a very neat, pretty, and simple FOTD with it. You have to keep in mind a few things when you purchase and finally work with Majolook Palettes. For one thing these palettes aren’t top quality pigment they aren’t nearly as nice as the single shadows MJ has in the general catalog plus the texture of the shadows is completely different. Don’t expect eye popping looks when using this because that’s not what you’re going to get. These ARE going to give you a beautiful, simple look. Single shadows from MJ are far more pigmented and have a completely different texture while these palettes are more about layering for intensity. This isn’t a rant, it’s simply a truth.
Secondly, I find that the Majolook work best on Asian eyes. Dunno why but I think the colors in the palettes look divine on Asian eyes. My eyes are extremely big, buggy, and dominate my entire face and I hate it. Asian eyes are delicate, exotic, and unique and the shimmer in these shadows works very, very well with that. These are so light and pretty on that style of eye in comparison to my large set eye. So really while I’m layering this and layering it some more someone of Asian descent can simply sweep this on maybe twice and get a really subtle yet awe aspiring look while I need much more to get the awe part. Personally I think it’ll work beautifully with double lid or single lid eyes (if you’re Asian you know what I mean or if you have many Asian friends you already know what I am talking about!). Sometimes it’s difficult to wear the latest trend in eyeshadow when you have a single lid but these will work perfectly with either as they are soft shimmering shades that are just perfect for double or single lids (some girls have surgery to get a double lid! My god! Scary!).
So now that I’ve babbled a bit…on with the tutorial.
I’m working my palette from left to right which would be lightest to darkest shades. As I said earlier you’re not going to have to build this up too much if you’re Asian because it’ll look cakey as opposed to if you have huge eyes like mine and need lots of color to get that “pop”.
Sadly, this tutorial isn’t exactly going to work well if you’re Asian as it’s working the darker shade into the crease. And unfortunately I couldn’t do a good tutorial on how to work this particular palette on an Asian eye because I have no experience applying any eye looks onto anyone other then myself. Sorry guys It’s especially crummy considering most of my gorgeous readers are of some Asian descent! I wish I could offer some sort of tutorial on the best way to apply this so hey if anyone wants to contribute that do give a yell! I’d be happy to post it!
I’m taking this in steps and I’m assuming you’ve already completely prepped your eye area with your cover-up, foundation, and primer of choice.
I find that working with the sponge applicator included with this palette is the best way to apply because the color just slips right off regular brushes plus you’ll be there all day packing on color with a regular brush so just use the sponge applicator and you’ll be done quicker and the color packs on really well with it. Dip the applicator in the first color, which is a sparkling white, and apply from your lid to your crease. You’re going to have to do this a few times to build the color up so keep going until your lid has a nice, healthy dose of shimmering white on the lid and crease area.
Now you want to move all the way over to your right and take the deepest silver color and apply it to your crease. Again, use the sponge applicator for application as it works best. Work the silver into your crease but refrain from getting any on your lid. Deepen the color as desired. I normally use about 3-4 strokes and that packs it on well. At this point you want to blend a bit so grab your blending brush of choice, mine happens to be the MAC 224, very lightly blend the colors. I normally blend the silver first working it back and fourth like a window wiper. Do it ever so gently. Why? Because the colors are delicate and not particularly pigmented which means they’ll slide right off before they have a sec to set properly. At this point you might want to pick up the same colors (white and darkest silver) and reapply a bit more color, again if you’re Asian you won’t need this much color.
Ok so you should have a nice contrasting eye at this point with a beautiful white on the bottom lid and a gorgeous dark silver in the crease. Pick up the middle silver color and work it gently into your lid on top of the white. Don’t overpower the white but accent it with the silver. You can use your blending brush if you want or use the sponge applicator.
Ok you’re almost done now!
Don’t, I repeat, don’t use the liner brush that this palette came with. Why? Because it’s rubbish and doesn’t work well. Use your own liner brush to apply the liner and you’ll find you won’t sit there triple dipping. I find the liner brush included smears instead of applies and I’m working hard to intensify the liner on my eyes when I could have just used my own brush and did maybe two coats without dipping 3-4 times to get a bold line. If you have the liner brush from the KATE gel eyeliner pack use that! It works a treat on the Majolook liner! Line your upper lash line, now your bottom lash liner and waterline. Don’t use it on your waterline without testing first. I personally don’t have sensitive eyes and have no problem using it on my waterline but if you’re sensitive or wear contacts maybe test first.
Ok one more step and you’re done!
Take your MJ Snow Carat Powder and remove the powder puff applicator as you won’t need it right now. Place your pointer finger on the stopper in the middle of the powder and tip it upside down an shake a little. Remove your finger and it should be nicely coated with some shimmer. Take the shimmer and pat it onto your complete eye look. Pat, Pat, Pat and keep building up the shimmer. Finally take a slim brush and dip it in the powder and work the shimmer onto your highbrow as a highlighter. I use my MAC 213 for this.
Spray your lash curler with stay, curl your lashes, apply your mascara, and you’re done! Silly me forgot to apply the Lash Freeze! But definately don’t forgot to apply your Lash Freeze after your mascara!
That’s a really, really long tutorial for such a little palette I know but many people always ask me how to best apply the Majolook palettes and which colors go where and I found that this is the system that work best for me!
Hope it helps!
Soooooooooooo I’m asking a big favor now! I want your MJ Majolook looks! Send ‘em to me and I’ll feature them on an upcoming blog entry!
I love seeing what others create using these palettes!
You can e-mail them to me at Musings.of.a.Muse@gmail.com
I’ve been remiss and I promised a JPMon Tutorial ages ago! Sometimes life has way of catching up on me and I don’t always have time to complete what I say I will!
So here’s the JPMon Tutorial as requested by a lovely girl by the name of Taryn and quite a few other people that have commented, e-mailed, and asked after it!
If you’re not familiar with JPMon it’s an online shop that carries many fine Japanese and Asian cosmetics, skincare, and other bits and bobs!
This tutorial is making the assumption you already have an account with JPMon so it’s basically a tutorial to do the actual ordering!
All items on JPMon are priced in the Taiwan New Dollar so please when converting don’t do so in Yen, SGD, or HKD. If you use any of these currencies you’re going to get the wrong conversion amount please convert from TND to your chosen currency be it USD, Sterling, Euro, Etc…
Shipping is fairly good at JPMon and the most I’ve every paid was about $40USD for a rather large package of items. Your total cost is displayed prior to clicking submit so convert prior to submitting so you can break down your shipping costs and see if it’s worth the hassle of ordering.
Items are shipped via EMS which means they arrive SUPER fast! If you’ve had my beloved friend Iris do CP’s for you you’ll know how quickly EMS arrives. I’d say within 3 days you’ll have your goods if you’re within the US! I’m unsure about Europe, Asia, or elsewhere in the world! You’ll also notice that what you spend at JPMon is almost what you’d spend on a CP from the gorgeous Iris plus shipping so it works out almost as if you’re making a trip to a Japanese Drugstore yourself!
JPMon employees do speak English so if you have concerns or questions about your order you can contact them at this address firstname.lastname@example.org
I strongly and highly recommend shooting them over a polite e-mail enquiring about your order after placing it. I normally write a short note saying ‘Hello I just placed an order and I don’t read Chinese could you please check over my order and be sure you have my shipping address and everything else you need to process!”
I also include my order number with this E-mail so they’ll have no problem looking it up! Normally within seconds of placing an order you’ll receive a order confirmation which contains your order number use it to contact them!
I’ve ordered from JPMon many times without any problems but it’s always good to cover all your bases and make sure things are running smooth.
As I said earlier the following tutorial makes the big assumption you already have an account with JPMon!
I normally wing my orders with JPMon. I don’t read or speak Chinese so the very first time I ordered I was unable to get in contact with any friends and I was impatient so I winged my order and have used the very same system when ordering since!
I did have a bit of a problem with one part which was quickly redeemed by asking a lovely girl on Cozy!
So here’s my winged version of ordering (I promise it’ll work for you too and you’ll soon have your Japanese Cosmetic fix safely arriving at your doorstep!):
The images can be enlarged by clicking on them!
Here we are www.jpmon.com ready to shop till we drop!
Ok as an example I just added all of the MJ Collection to my cart! Obviously it’s easy enough to add items to the cart! It has a little symbol of a cart! Click it and boom it’s in your bag! You’ll notice a little pop up window each time you add something to your cart don’t worry all it says is that you added so and so product to your cart! Below I am pointing out where the contents of your cart can be located! Just click that little pink box and it’ll show you your items that you are ready to purchase!
If you scroll down a bit from your order details you’ll see three boxes with pull down menus! Guess what!? I have no idea what the first one says! I’ve completely forgot but I do know you have to select the MIDDLE option! That much I remember hehehe! So select the middle option and move on to the next set of drop down menus!
Ok so here we are on the next drop down menu and this basically gives you shipping options! The only option you can choose is EMS so drop down the menu and select EMS for your shipping!
Next drop down menu is where you are located! I happen to live in the US (although I’d rather be in the UK) so I choose USA as my location! So far so good! Piece of cake right? A monkey can do it!
Scroll down a little and you’ll see a cute little item being advertised! What’s this?!?! It’s your free gift! JPmon gives away little kawaii items with all orders and they normally advertise what’s free when you’re processing your order! In this case it looks like some sort of My Melody Keychain or Cell Phone Strap! See the button below the free gift? Click it!
Ok now we start winging things and making it up as we go along! Are you excited? I’m excited!
The first box is asking you to enter your name! My name happens to be Jane Doe for this order!
Next box is asking for your phone number, I dunno what the next box is asking for but it’s obviously not mandatory as it’s white and not yellow like the rest so skip it!
Box below that needs your e-mail addy so type it in and away you go! Zip Code is next, now your street number and address and after that your City and State, and finally USA should already be filled out for your country!
New set of boxes below that is pretty much the same deal! Here’s what you want in those boxes:
First and Last Name Phone Number Zip Code Street Number and Name State and City Country
And finally the last box which makes absolutely no sense to me but they basically want your bank info! This is basically where I wing it!
I normally put Visa in the first box (If I’m paying with Visa), in the second box I put the issuing bank. If you have no idea what the issuing bank of your card is just fib it and say Bank of America or something else, and finally it’s asking for the phone number associated with the card. Make one up or use the one on the back of your card!
As you can see I put in a small note asking them to contact me should they need further information! This normally works a treat however I strongly suggest NOT doing this as sometimes it gives an error. So leave the comment field empty and e-mail them later as I explained earlier in the post! Again, LEAVE the comment field EMPTY as it causes errors sometimes so just click that sweet little red button and you’re almost done now!
A new box will pop up asking you to enter your Credit Card details so this is easy enough!
Enter your card number Enter your expiration date and finally enter your security code located on the back of the card
Now with your credit card entered click on the green button on the left hand side and we are almost done now!
Your screen may blank a sec and you’ll see a transaction is processing image! Don’t touch anything while this is happening! Let it do what it’s doing! Give it some air, remove your hand from the mouse, don’t move or speak or breath! Just kidding you can breath but don’t move ok?
DONE! You should be taken back to the original JPMon website! This is when I normally check to be sure my order is safe! Click above your shopping card and it’ll take you to your “order history”. You should see your order there!
And last by not least check your email there should be your confirmation waiting for you!
Presto! You’re done!
Wait 3 days (or a bit more since the Holiday may have slowed up mail) and you should have some lovely goodies in your box!
A lovely reader left a wonderful comment for the Muse and had asked a question in regards to Lush and using Angels on Bare Skin.
I’ve discussed Lush a plenty on my blog as it’s part of my main skincare/bodycare/haircare regime so I pimp it as much as possible as I’ve had such brilliant results with it and of course when it works good the Muse must pass that info onto all you lovely ladies I’m positive you recall my rather long post about Lush prior to this but if you happened to miss it do click here and have a look!
Now her question was about a product called Angels on Bare Skin. Angels on Bare Skin is a Preservative Free Face Cleanser. First time users may be confused how exactly to use it! So…here’s a tutorial for Stephanie and anyone else who was interested in the best way to use Angels on Bare Skin!
Stephanie thanks for your comments and your question! I hope this helps!
MuseTV Presents: Angels on Bare Skin Tutorial
(If the video doesn’t play right away please try back in a few)