Sake to Me! Kiku-Masamune Sake Skin Care Lotion

Sake is useful for making you beautiful…and not just by giving your date sake-goggles ladies, muahhahahah. If you’re unfamiliar, the legend of the famous SK-II brand has it that a scientist in 1970s-era Japan noticed the very soft and youthful hands of women working in a Japanese saké brewery. So now the sake beauty products proliferate.

Also there’s some research saying that the kojic acid in sake decreases your skin’s ability to form the melanin found in spots and freckles. This same type of acid helps your skin retain moisture. Sake yeast is also supposed to stimulate cell-regeneration. Lots of promising “scientific” claims!

Today I binged at Atlantic Square in Alhambra again and blew a bit of dough on experimental products, one of which is a face milky toner lotion by Kiku-Masamune. It’s NOT a beauty brand; it’s a sake brewery!

This milky toner is made from amino acids that are the product of the Japanese sake from this brewery. The 17 fl oz (500ml) bottle cost me $15 so it’s a LOT of product for the price. Great to use it as a cheap toning face mask. I bought those cotton sheet masks that you can use to create your own.

Continue reading “Sake to Me! Kiku-Masamune Sake Skin Care Lotion”

Face Off: Laneige Multi Cleanser Review

Laneige Multi Cleanser ($22 for 6 fl. oz.) makes many claims for a facial cleanser, but unfortunately it doesn’t live up to several of them.

01 Laneige Multi Cleanser Review
“For all skin”? ::eyebrow raise::

First, it’s supposed to be for all skin types. Although it lathers up beautifully into a gentle-feeling cushiony cloud of dense foam (far denser than any typical cleanser; it’s similar to a Shiseido cleanser I tried many years ago), skin is left feeling clean. Too clean. After other cleansers, my fingers can still glide over my skin, but after Multi Cleanser, my fingers drag and skip over my skin. So it’s too harsh for dry skin. (Yet it’s strangely satisfying in the summer to feel all the oil stripped from your face.)  Update: I tested the pH level to be 8, which explains the squeaky clean feeling.  Also, the dense foam takes several extra splashes to rinse it from your hairline or (ew) nostrils.

Next, it makes four claims: Continue reading “Face Off: Laneige Multi Cleanser Review”

The Queen and I – Queen Helene Avocado & Grapefruit Facial Masque

Queen Helene probably wasn’t even a real Queen, but I won’t hold that against her (who is probably not even a real person.) Well, I guess she (the non-person) is the queen of facial masks considering the cult favorite Queen Helene Mint Julep mask. But this is not about that mask. It’s about the other one in the range of masks, and I just put it on tonight to shrink wrap my tired saggy skin and oil-oozing pores in this 99-degree LA weather.

This avocado grapefruit mask has the same primary ingredients as the mint julep mask. I just wanted to try something new. It smells a bit better than the mint julep mask, which leaves an after-smell which is a combination of dirt and sulfur (i.e: not entirely unlike fart.) Let’s be clear: the avocado grapefruit mask has the same sulfur smell, just much more faint. Continue reading “The Queen and I – Queen Helene Avocado & Grapefruit Facial Masque”

Clear as Mud – Kiehl’s Rare Earth Pore Cleansing Masque

I love the luxurious feeling of a mask, any mask. Though empirical evidence on what masks can do vary greatly, there’s a therapeutic effect from this self-pampering ritual which is undeniable. I have at least 9-10 masks in my overfilled medicine cabinet and fridge (I leave a tofu face mask in the fridge for hot summer days like these)

The mask de l’heure is the Rare Earth Pore Cleansing Masque from Kiehl’s. The Kiehl’s store is insanely addictive because of its cute, homey, artisanal packaging and lovely combinations of natural ingredients (calendula toner please!) The price point of mostly $20-50 is also right there in my sweet spot.

This mud mask promises to shrink your pore and clarify your skin. And yep, it does tighten your skin and soak up oil like a napkin on greasy pizza. Look at the opaqueness:

Continue reading “Clear as Mud – Kiehl’s Rare Earth Pore Cleansing Masque”

Contour de Force

The new rage nowadays is contouring. Once reserved for “insiders” such as makeup artists, beauty queens, and celebs, now you can look up contouring on Instagram and see a bazillion feeds about it.

Yeah it is definitely magical because it can take chubby cheeks and pounds off your face without bucal fat removal and dieting.

I learned this trick during my beauty pageant days from observing my makeup artists do it (contouring is so powerful that you can almost make yourself look like an entire different person). This is because it alters the eye’s perception of facial angles. Dark colors on your face make things recede. Great for carving angles where there are none, or for narrowing features like nostrils and jawlines.

Here is my semi-sloppy makeup application with only about four steps. Bottom lower left corner has the “contour” lines which seem complex in charts but easily executed in real life. For the purpose of this post, I didn’t do any extreme contouring, just enough to define the cheek bones and narrow the nose. So the dark lines you see are super simplified. But that’s all you need. I also didn’t use highlights; I only used dark colors to “carve”.

I didn’t do much detail in the pic but you can definitely see the narrowing of the jaw and cheeks. Such is the magic of darker color on the outside of the face. Try it and see!!!


From left top corner:
Continue reading “Contour de Force”

They See Me Haulin’ Part 2: Haul Revealed

01 Psy Sheet Masks
Sheet masks that transform you into Psy. Heh, psyyy-ch!

Part 1 is here.

Ah, I bought too much in LA.  Some are gifts.  But let’s be real, most of it is for me.

02 Full Haul
Haul-la! The full haul+free samples

First, I bought some cotton pads to remove eye makeup.  After Costco stopped offering my favorite Denon cotton pads (cheap and didn’t disintegrate or shed lint), I’ve been trying out different drugstore offerings and some Asian ones that I had lying around.  They’ve all been meh.  Here’s hoping these are better. Continue reading “They See Me Haulin’ Part 2: Haul Revealed”

Worth It? Rodin Olio Lusso Review

Grumpy Cat No

Worth It? reviews crazy expensive items that you might have wondered about but couldn’t bring yourself to buy.  Look forward to more Worth It? reviews in the future.  I also just can’t keep thinking up pun-ny titles like Renee can.  

At $150 for 1 fl. oz., Rodin Olio Lusso is a “luxury face oil” described as a “perfect potion” that promises hydrated and luminous skin.  After seeing it repeatedly featured in models’ and actresses’ routines on Into the Gloss, I splurged (with a coupon code naturally) on a bottle of this promising elixir.  Directions say to apply a few drops to a clean, moist face morning and night.

01 Rodin Olio Lusso Closeup Continue reading “Worth It? Rodin Olio Lusso Review”

Mi Amore: AmorePacific Color Control Cushion Compact SPF 50+ Review – 104 Tan Blush

For the second summer in a row, the AmorePacific Color Control Cushion SPF 50 is a staple in my routine.  (The product link goes to QVC, which has a video demonstration and shade guidance.  No longer available on QVC.)  In Asia, cushion foundations have been around for several years, but they are just now hitting the U.S.  (It Cosmetics just released one.  Actually my friend told me that Stila and Almay came out with cushion makeup years and years ago and lo and behold my Googling turned up Stila Pivotal Makeup.)

Continue reading “Mi Amore: AmorePacific Color Control Cushion Compact SPF 50+ Review – 104 Tan Blush”

HD Baby One More Time! Makeup Forever HD Foundation Invisible Cover Foundation

While I’m on a roll and shared this site with the Facebook world, I wanted to quickly review Makeup Forever’s HD Foundation, the product that everyone wants to yap about.
Here’s my non-madeup face. I know it looks like a cat’s ass right out of the shower but be patient!

So I’m lucky to have pretty smooth skin with no zitz, scars, or craters. This is from years of dedicated pampering so it’s not like I didn’t work for it! Just cuz you’re born tall doesn’t mean you can play in the NBA mmmkay?

Right after this I moisturized and slapped on 1.5 pumps of the Makeup Forever HD Invisible Cover Foundation in Shade128 (Almond). I used the unscientific method of applying with my hands, no tools. The salesgirl at Alcone NYC (a profession makeup artist store for stage, film, and special effects makeup) did a swatch test. This was a shade darker than I need, but summer is here so I might as well do the “tan” look. It matched my darker forehead but my cheeks are a shade lighter.

Here are the bottle and swatch on the inner side of my left arm.

Continue reading “HD Baby One More Time! Makeup Forever HD Foundation Invisible Cover Foundation”

Tofu Infinity and Beyond! – Moritaya Tofu Yogurt Pack (Tama no Koshi)

On this gorgeous Sunday…also depressing Sunday cuz most of us have to go back to work tomorrow (URGH) I decided to do a cheerer upper by slathering on the Moritaya Tofu Yogurt Pack. Again, in one of my previous posts I said that “pack” is another name for mask. This is something I just understood recently, how provincial of me.

So fermentation is a big deal in Asian cosmetics. We (not Angela and I,  but the Asian cosmetics folks) handpick and ferment stuff in barrels like they are nice fine wine. And of course what better example of fermentation than tofu? Through the coagulation process, salts, enzymes, and good acids are added so perhaps these can aid in making your skin glow like a shiny silken piece of white tofu…?

The container is so deliciously cute that I didn’t mind the $27 price tag (for 4.8 ounces of mask! Compare this to brand-name Kiehl’s which is $25 for 5 oz jar). And the texture…oh the lovely white, creamy-yet-jiggly texture made me wanna slap copious amounts on my face right there in the aisle.

Here’s the container:

99c8f-img_3192 Continue reading “Tofu Infinity and Beyond! – Moritaya Tofu Yogurt Pack (Tama no Koshi)”