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Forever 21 フォーエバー21 Love and Beauty Gel Eyeliner Review

Forever 21 フォーエバー21 takes advantage of their long lines….trust me I have been sucked into buying on impulse, waiting for the billing. And this is one of those random purchases. But just to make myself feel good….this Forever 21 フォーエバー21 Love and Beauty Gel Eyeliner was not even for $1!  Although it is for $9 on Forever 21’s website!

Forever 21 Love and Beauty Gel Eyeliner

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Forever 21 Love and Beauty Gel Eyeliner

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It comes in a shallow glass container with a screw on lid . Packaging looks pretty decent for a Forever 21 product.
It is very black pigmented colour. It has a thick and dry texture. It is more on a creamy side than gellish. It is very dry so sometimes it can be difficult to spread it. It doesn’t glide smoothly like this during application.

Forever 21 Love and Beauty Gel Eyeliner

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Forever 21 Love and Beauty Gel Eyeliner

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Forever 21 Love and Beauty Gel Eyeliner

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I read in Seventeen magazine that “This amazing eyeliner is crazy creamy, so it won’t drag and stick when you are working to create that perfect cat eye. Plus once it dries, it’s almost impossible to rub off.” I can’t disagree with this more. It smears easily. It lasts for 5-6 hours but disappears from the corners. And if I ever touch my eyes by mistake there is no chance that it will remain there. And don’t ever do the mistake to wear it on your water line, It will smudge within an hour.
Although it is really cheap I will not purchase it again. But is a great product for those who want to enter the world of gel eyeliners!!

Korean Makeup Review : ホリカ ホリカ Holika Holika Oil Queen Cotton Primer SPF 15

ホリカ ホリカ Holika Holika Oil Queen Cotton Primer SPF 15 is a sebum control primer that controls overflow of sebum and changes the skin from an oily skin to a soft skin. Holika Holika is a Korean makeup brand. This product primes and mattes. It doesn’t contain mineral oil, parabens, talc, vaseline and ethanol. It contains cotton extract that has emollient properties that can soften rough skin leaving it smooth and silky; Iceland glacial milk that has skin hydration and anti-ageing properties and complexion brightening effect. It also has green tea extract which is an anti-inflammatory agent that reduces and heals skin problems and inflammations and last but not the least calamine that calms down irritated, oily and acne prone skin. And to add on it it has SPF 15. Now with this long list of outstanding ingredients you would think that this is the skin saviour you had been waiting for all your life!! Don’t get too excited, just read on..

 Korean Makeup Holika Holika Oil Queen Cotton Primer

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 Korean Makeup Holika Holika Oil Queen Cotton Primer

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 Korean Makeup Holika Holika Oil Queen Cotton Primer

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 Korean Makeup Holika Holika Oil Queen Cotton Primer

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 Korean Makeup Holika Holika Oil Queen Cotton Primer

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 Korean Makeup Holika Holika Oil Queen Cotton Primer

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 Korean Makeup Holika Holika Oil Queen Cotton Primer

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 Korean Makeup Holika Holika Oil Queen Cotton Primer

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The packaging is to die for. It is one of the main (actually the main) reasons why I picked it up. It is a white thick plastic bottle with turquoise and salmon colour- very cute and girly. There is a cotton icon that winks at you. But as the bottle is totally opaque you can’t see the amount of product left inside.There is a pump with a thin cap..but It is actually bad as I took this on my trip to India and the primer spilled all inside my make-up pouch and the cap didn’t prevent it from spilling. I got it from Korea as it was 9 $ for a 30 ml bottle which I think is quite cheap for a primer. Also I loved the scent – it’s just like a baby powder.
I didn’t like this primer because it was really difficult to blend it in. It is a thick white colored liquid and actually goes on really white. And although I had moisturised my face before applying this primer..it stuck to my dry patches and accentuated them even more. I didn’t think it improved my skin texture infact made it worse. My nose area got oily even though it had literally sucked in every drop of moisture from my face at the time of application. Also my cc cream and make up looked cakey on it. And the worse part.. I made the mistake of wearing it for a dinner and I turned out to look like a white ghost in the pictures (with and without flash!!)

I had heard a lot of good things about it but unfortunately it didn’t work for me!! Definitely will not re-purchase.

Things to do in Japan in Spring: Plum Blossom at Osaka Castle 梅大 坂城

Every year in Spring I visit Osaka Castle to view Cherry Blossoms, it’s a ritual that I absolutely enjoy. Believe it or not but only this year I discovered the beauty of Plum Blossoms and although every one tried to convince me that plums grow on cacti, once my mind was made up, I made my way to the Plum Grove at Osaka Castle which showcases over a 100 varieties!
Plum Blossom is associated with the start of Spring and Osaka Castle truly heralds in my favorites season with the smorgasbord of whites, pinks, reds and magentas on display.
Coming to think of it, the darker & more vibrant hue of pink of Plum Blossom make for a better background for my pics vs. the delicate pink of the Cherry Blossom. Hmm … or does it? So many options, so many choices … it makes a girl’s life so complicated … anyways I am convinced to visit Osaka Expo Park, I heard the plum blossoms there attract visitors from places far away.
So folks bear with me as the coming weeks will be an overdose of flower power!
P.S. a piece of Trivia, Plum trees actually originated in China and were brought to Japan prior to the Nara period.

Outfit of the day ootd

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Plum Blossom: Onset of Spring in Japan

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Plum Blossom: Onset of Spring in Japan

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Plum Blossom: Onset of Spring in Japan

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Plum Blossom: Onset of Spring in Japan

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Plum Blossom: Onset of Spring in Japan

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Plum Blossom: Onset of Spring in Japan

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how to style a pink coat

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Plum Blossom: Onset of Spring in Japan

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Chanel Boy bag

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Chanel boy bag

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cool sunglasses

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how to style sneakers

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Osaka Castle plum grove

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how to style pink coat

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Chanel boy bag

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Osaka castle plum grove

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how to style a pink coat

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how to style sneakers

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[caption id="attachment_8460" align="aligncenter" width="625"]Osaka Castle Vivalahighstreet

[caption id="attachment_8458" align="aligncenter" width="625"]Osaka Castle plum garden Vivalahighstreet

 

 

Sweater – GAP, $30 on Sale, 2014, also worn here;
Pants – H&M, $25, 2014, also worn here;
Bag – Chanel, gift, 2014, also worn here;
Coat – Bershka, $50 on sale, 2015;
Sneakers – Nike, 121$, 2008, also worn here;
Sunglasses – GU, $7, 2015;

Best lip balm for smooth lips: Maybelline New York Baby Lips Electro Pop Lip Balm メイベリン ニューヨーク リップクリーム エレクトロポップ

It was very kind of Maybelline Japan to send me 3 lip balmsfrom their new Electro Pop range. I am not sure if they are new in market, but I hadn’t seen them much before in Osaka. The shades I have are Pink Shock, Oh! Orange and Fierce N Tangy. I guess there are a total of 6 shades in this collection but only 3 launched in Japan. They retail for $6 here so roughly double than in India!!!

Maybelline claims to give a sheer jolt of neon color with electric color pigments in exclusive lip renew formula. They provide 8 hours hydration. They are enriched with Botanical Cell Repair Concentrate and ingredients like honey, shea butter and collagen. They are super hydrating and glide on smoothly on lips. They are more creamy and glossy than other Baby Lips I have tried in the past!

Packaging is super cute with transparent caps with big bright bold written on them. Plastic cap is very sturdy and because of that they have become my handbag staple as I can just throw them in casually and they don’t break. They smell nice which is added benefit; however the scent goes away in a few minutes. They are not sticky at all. They have no shimmer particles, just shine that makes my lips look plumper than usual. But the best part is that they have SPF:)

Maybelline New York Baby Lips Electro Pop Lip Balms

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Maybelline New York electro Pop Lip Balm

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Maybelline New York Baby Lips Electro Pop Lip Balms

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Maybelline New York Baby Lips Electro Pop Lip Balms

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Maybelline New York Baby Lips Electro Pop Lip Balms

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Maybelline New York Baby Lips Electro Pop Lip Balms

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Maybelline New York Baby Lips Electro Pop Lip Balms

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Maybelline New York Baby Lips Electro Pop Lip Balms

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I love them all! Pink Shock is a bright pinkish berry kind of color. It leaves a nice tint even after it is gone. I can build up color from sheer to opaque. I don’t even need to wear a lipstick over that. Fierce N Tangy is the non tinted one. I expected that it will look very neon on lips, but it is just a subtle sheen and adapts to the color of my lips. Oh! Orange is a very sheer orange and not that pigmented but I feel that it is a nice base for my orange lipsticks.

Although they don’t stay on for 8 hours but they have made my lips very smooth and moist with constant use. My lips remain moisturized 24/7. I am not sure if they will be available always or are just limited edition; therefore I am going to stock up on them. What about you?

Sapporo Snow Festival さっぽろ雪まつり @ Hokkaido Japan 北海道 日本: Is it overrated?

I was able to cross one item off my bucket list last month. I went to see the 66th Sapporo Snow Festival in Hokkaido in the north of Japan. It is held every year in February and it is one of Japan’s largest events featuring snow and ice sculptures. Just to give you a little background, this festival was started in 1950 when a group of high school students built a few snow sculptures in Odori Park. Now this festival is staged in 3 venues, Odori park, Susukino and Tsu Dome. I only visited Odori Park that is a big park in the centre of the city and Susukino that is the entertainment district famous for its night life.

I reached Sapporo in the morning and so was able to see sculptures during the day as well as night. After dark, they have special lights and laser shows, so I strongly recommend going there late in the afternoon so that you can experience both.

Among all the sculptures my favorite has to be “Star Wars”. There were only a few big ones and more small ones.
It was a great experience as I had never seen so much snow in my life before, however I feel that this festival is slightly overrated. Definitely go there, but only if you are around or in Sapporo. Specially going there to see a few ice sculptures doesn’t make sense (I have heard that the number of sculptures is decreasing every year!!).
Also it was super cold there and I didn’t see very young kids enjoying there! Poor ones must have been dragged there by parents. Also it was very messy with constant rain and snow. Only saving grace was that there were not many people and stalls were selling hot food and drinks. I had hot Mojito with some sort of flower in it. Trust me Mojito never tasted so good before. Also how can I forget my trusty boots that I bought just a day before leaving for Sapporo. One thing I have realized that it makes a hell lot of difference in walking on snow, that is if you have right shoes on!!

Sapporo Snow Festival @ Hokkaido Japan

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Sapporo Snow Festival @ Hokkaido Japan

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Sapporo Snow Festival @ Hokkaido Japan

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Sapporo Snow Festival @ Hokkaido Japan

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I got a bag from Old Navy stall after I signed up for their emails and news letter!!

Sapporo Snow Festival @ Hokkaido Japan

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Sapporo Snow Festival @ Hokkaido Japan

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Sapporo Snow Festival @ Hokkaido Japan

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Sapporo Snow Festival @ Hokkaido Japan

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Sapporo Snow Festival @ Hokkaido Japan

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Sapporo Snow Festival

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Sapporo Snow Festival

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Sapporo Snow Festival @ Hokkaido Japan

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Sapporo Snow Festival

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ice sculpture @Sapporo Snow Festival

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Sapporo Snow Festival

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Sapporo Snow Festival

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Sapporo Snow Festival

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Some girls were wearing heels in snow…wonder how they were walking!!!

Sapporo Snow Festival

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Sapporo Snow Festival

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Sapporo Snow Festival

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Sapporo Snow Festival

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Sapporo Snow Festival

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Sapporo Snow Festival, Japan

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Susukino, Sapporo

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Susukino, Sapporo Snow Festival, Japan

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Susukino, Sapporo Snow Festival, Japan

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curry ramen, Sapporo,  Japan

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curry ramen, Sapporo, Japan

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Sapporo Snow Festival, Japan

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Sapporo Snow Festival, Japan

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Zara down jacket

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what to wear in snow

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Star Wars

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I am wearing;
Jacket – Zara, $90 on sale, 2015;
Pants – H&M, $25, 2014;
Bag – GU, $20, 2013, also worn here;
Hat – Namba Parks, $10, 2015;
Sunglasses – Mango, $13, 2011, also worn here;
Circle Scarf – H&M, $10, 2012, also worn here;
Gloves – Lanvin, $20 on sale, 2015;
Boots – Bershka, $35 on sale, 2015;

Luxe : Organic Japanese Beauty Products

Organic, locally sourced, homegrown, sustainable are all terms that have a certain ‘calling’ to them, they are not a fad anymore! It is the need of the hour, after decades of living in a world with absolutely no regard for Mother Nature, a world, which looked towards chemicals and artificial man-made products, we are slowly waking up to the realization that this blatant abuse must stop. Young, responsible individuals are stepping up, challenging the monopoly of big corporate and giving us an alternative, allowing us to make a choice in favor of Planet Earth and I think it is only fair that we as consumers, reciprocate with our support.

Luxe is one such niche brand, that I had the opportunity to discover only recently, home grown in North Osaka, catering to a select discerning clientele, very exclusive, high-end and absolutely amazing. Their aim to provide chemical & preservatives free, simple, organic, natural Japanese beauty products to support your health and beauty has yielded in a portfolio of products from daily care, cosmetics to health food – a complete natural & healthy lifestyle solution.

Some of the products that I tried, and can absolutely vouch for, stuff that made me a believer are (in no order of preference, I love them all):
Escar cream as the name suggests has the exotic Okinawa snail extracts. The package description say that mucous forms the key ingredient, which stimulates the formation of collagen, elastin and dermal components that repair the signs of photoaging and minimize the damage generated by free radical that are responsible for premature skin aging. My feeling is that this ethereal cream with its super smooth consistency works like magic for my oily skin. It is easily absorbed and the results are very satisfying even for somebody like me who is extremely particular about the products I use.

Luxe : Organic Japanese Beauty Products

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Luxe : Organic Japanese Beauty Products

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Luxe : Organic Japanese Beauty Products

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Luxe : Organic Japanese Beauty Products

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Luxe : Organic Japanese Beauty Products

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Luxe Herbal Natural Soap is handmade and uses natural herbs, spices, oils and botanicals providing not only cleansing but also soothing and moisturizing properties. I am very skeptical about using soap on my face as they strip the skin of oils a lot more than a face wash. However this soap is not at all drying. My skin feels smooth and moist. I don’t feel stretchy or dry and can easily skip moisturizer.

Luxe : Organic Japanese Beauty Products

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Luxe : Organic Japanese Beauty Products

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Luxe : Organic Japanese Beauty Products

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Luxe Relax Bath Salt can treat rheumatism and skin problems. I love that it has spicy herbs that make my bath smell delicious as well provide me that spa kind of feeling in my own house. Another thing I like is that one bottle is enough for 20 baths!!! It is totally relaxing and refreshing, a must ritual after a long hard day.

Luxe : Organic Japanese Beauty Products

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Luxe : Organic Japanese Beauty Products

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Luxe : Organic Japanese Beauty Products

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Luxe : Organic Japanese Beauty Products

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They do international shipping if you order in bulk. You can contact them through their website here or Facebook page here. Also right now they are offering huge discounts on their products. Grab them now!! And don’t forget to let me know your experience. Happy shopping!! Happy doing your part … staying eco-friendly & fashionable.

エチュードハウス Etude House Baking Powder Cleansing Foam Moist Review

I was given this as a free sample when I purchased items worth $50 at one time at Etude House but I think it retails around $4-5 for 150gms in Japan. This sample tube I got is perfect for travelling so I had been saving it up for my travels, but as it is cold here and I was looking for something moist I thought it was high time to remove it from my reserve stock.
There are three cleansing foams in the baking powder range but the one I have is called Etude House Baking Powder Cleansing Foam Moist, for making you skin moist and smooth. It is formulated with baking powder to penetrate and cleanse deep within pores to remove makeup and residues. It maintains rich, smooth lather for moist sensation. It is meant for gentle exfoliation thanks to baking powder. This has ingredients to balance the drying properties of baking powder and is suitable even for dry skin!!

エチュードハウス Etude House Baking Powder Cleansing Foam Moist Review

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エチュードハウス Etude House Baking Powder Cleansing Foam Moist Review

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エチュードハウス Etude House Baking Powder Cleansing Foam Moist Review

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エチュードハウス Etude House Baking Powder Cleansing Foam Moist Review Vivalahighstreet

It is quite thick and creamy, almost like a moisturizer. It lathers well and leaves the skin moist indeed. Only a small amount is enough to cover the entire face. I have used it on and off for at least 2 months now and I have enough product left for more one month. It claims to remove make-up but I don’t feel that it can do on its own. It is better to use a make-up remover and then use this as a facewash.
I have used it regularly for 10 days now and I don’t feel any major changes.
It hasn’t minimised my pores yet as promised but frankly I don’t expect a $5 product to magically reduce my pores!! It gives me a clean and supple feeling when I use it and that is enough for me!!

Lady Dior

At the very onset of this blog post, I would like to put your apprehension to rest and declare that the featured bag is certainly not an original Lady Dior Bag. Its not a fake either, so the overzealous keepers of the brand, the anti-fake crusaders can sheath their daggers, for I solemnly pledge that I do not support fakes, never have – never will.

It’s a knock –off, these are a bit different from fakes – although inspired, looking very similar, they do not feature any of the trademarked logo / branding.

To tell you the truth, I really didn’t want this (Dior) bag. It’s a long story, I will try to make it short … It was a dark and stormy night as the wind whistled through the trees – not really stormy and not dark either at the night market in Hong Kong. I was indulging in the touristic pleasures, soaking in the sights and sounds, enjoying the environs, window shopping when this sales guy decided to follow me around trying to sell me his wares. As I was about to reach the end of my patience and give him a swing with my trusty travel bag – he produced the afore mentioned culprit. He wanted HK$400 for it. I decided to counter him with a ridiculously low offer that would get me rid of this pest. HK$100 I offered, game set and match – and as I was about to feel a sense of victory, lo and behold – the bag was placed in my hand, my offer agreed to and one happy Hong Sales guy walked away with my crisp 100 note and a certain spring in his walk.
Carrying this bag around for a year now, has made me realize that bags that are soft and slouchy are the ones I prefer and I need bags that not only look big but can actually stock more than a few essentials!!

Lady Dior

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Lady Dior

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Lady Dior

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Lady Dior

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Lady Dior

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Lady Dior

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Lady Dior Vivalahighstreet

Turtle neck – GK-2 Market(Delhi), $10, 2003;
Skirt – Zara, $40 on sale, 2013, also worn here;
Coat – Opaque Clip, $50, 2015;
Cut – out Boots – H&M, 50 $, 2014; also worn here;
Bag – Hong Kong, $13, 2014;
Sunglasses – Zara, 45 $, 2012; also worn here;
Circle scarf – H&M, $6 on sale, 2011, also worn here;
Socks and tights – Tutuanna, $3 each, 2014;

ニベア Nivea In-shower Body Moisturiser Skin Conditioner Review

Best product ever for Winter. Period. ニベア Nivea In-Shower Body Moisturiser Skin Conditioner moisturizes instantly with no sticky feeling. It guarantees 24 hours moisture. It comes in 3 variants- for normal skin with skin conditioner and for dry skin and very dry skin with Almond oil. The key moisturizing ingredient is glycerin, a skincare emulsion that makes the skin soft and smooth. I was in a rush so I missed “very dry skin” otherwise I would have got that. A liitle extra moisture doesn’t harm, right!! But the one I have i.e.for dry skin is good too.

ニベア Nivea In-shower Body Moisturiser Skin Conditioner Review

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ニベア Nivea In-shower Body Moisturiser Skin Conditioner Review

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ニベア Nivea In-shower Body Moisturiser Skin Conditioner Review

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ニベア Nivea In-shower Body Moisturiser Skin Conditioner Review

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ニベア Nivea In-shower Body Moisturiser Skin Conditioner Review

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image via internet

image via internet

It is a thick and slimy white cream and spreads easily on the skin. It lathers on skin nicely and you can feel its soft texture. You should apply this while still in shower, because wet skin can directly take up the unique water activated formula so that it is easily and quickly absorbed. Wait some seconds and rinse off residues shortly. If you are running out of time you can rinse it off immediately because it is immediately absorbed by the skin. But it is advisable to wait for at least 2 minutes. There is no need to apply a body lotion and no greasy feeling after!! I am always in a hurry in the morning and even if I have time I am lazy to apply body lotion. Therefore this is a dream product for me (this one is good too but expensive).
I like the fragrance, smells kind of citrusy to me. It leaves a fresh scent on skin even after you have washed it.
It comes in a flip squeeze bottle. I find it difficult to squeeze out the product. It would be great if they used some brains and put a pump on it!! That is my only concern with this product.
This product is amazing. My skin is not itchy or dry even in extreme cold outside or dry air conditioned environment inside.
It doesnt leave waxy feeling or stains on my clothes. No!! Nothing at all!!
It doesn’t live upto its claim of moisturizing for 24 hours but 9-10 hours is good enough for me!! Yes I am content like that!!
I paid about $5 for 250 ml bottle in India (see what else I got from India here). A lot of product is required every time I use but it is still cheaper than some other similar products.
I didn’t have vey high expectations, so this product didn’t disappoint me. It is not as good as applying real lotion but it is almost there. I will definitely re-purchase. I have already located it in one of the drugstores here in Osaka!!

Jeanne Lanvin ジャンヌ ランバン La Rose Perfume Review

Jeanne Lanvin ジャンヌ ランバン La Rose perfume smells of roses with a touch of berries. It is a natural scent with a little touch of vetiver and cedar. It is a girly scent best described as a floral fruity. The top notes are raspberry, middle notes are rose and red currant and finally the base notes are of white musk, vetiver and cedar. However, I don’t smell raspberry at the top, just the rose.
The bottle looks sophisticated with two little tulle fake roses, one dark pink and another lighter one decorating the lid and an unique design on the cap. I found them really annoying while opening and closing the bottle so I took them off. The bottle is rectangular with see through glass and you can see pink liquid from inside.

Jeanne Lanvin ジャンヌ ランバン La Rose Perfume

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Jeanne Lanvin ジャンヌ ランバン La Rose Perfume

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Jeanne Lanvin ジャンヌ ランバン La Rose Perfume

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Jeanne Lanvin ジャンヌ ランバン La Rose Perfume

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Jeanne Lanvin ジャンヌ ランバン La Rose Perfume

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Jeanne Lanvin ジャンヌ ランバン La Rose Perfume

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Jeanne Lanvin ジャンヌ ランバン La Rose Perfume

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It smells fresh , romantic and delicate, very feminine and sophisticated, like roses in the garden after the rain.
Longitivity is horrible, doesn’t even stay on for an hour. It is best to be worn during the day time. I would never ever wear it to a club as it will not be effective. Best to wear it to work or the doctors as it is not over powering.
It is a very affordable scent, $30 for a 100ml bottle!! It isn’t anything exciting or something that took a lot of time or hard work to be created. It is just a simple and delicate rose scent. It is a safe scent to be given as a gift I feel!! However I am not getting it again for myself for sure!!