Japan Make-Up Haul 2014

When I left to Japan, I had a wishlist that I tried to keep to the minimum :

  • Shu Uemura brushes 11 and 15 – found the 11 but the 15 is nowhere to be seen.
  • Shu Uemura Hair care, Essence Absolue – could not find any hair care from this line in Japan, not even at their boutique so since it was budgeted I bought it upon my return here in Switzerland where I had discovered in the first place.
  • Ipsa face palettes – yep, mission accomplished, big haul!
  • Hakuhodo S171 brush –at the very last moment but managed to pick it up.

On my wishlist was also The Process of Hardcore Swatching (sounds like the title for a future book :D ) You guessed right, this process eventually allows us to discover what brands we could continue hauling while in Switzerland… *whistles*

You already saw what brushes came with me, some were part of gifts, some were purchases but all of them were brushes that I wanted in the first place! I am just lucky and very happy that this blog allows me sometimes to get some return on investment if I may call it like that… not something I expect, but something I warmly welcome when it happens :D

Today I will only show you what items I bought and tell you why I liked them but I won’t review them, I’ll need some time to try them and get a better opinion on each one. I may not have the time to review all of them but if something is truly amazing, it will get its glory post.

There is something you need to know though: I am not that young and my background and references are already based on super high end products, this is why I am very difficult in terms of texture, pigmentation and quality. Some of the drugstore items in Japan are really nice but most of them are too shimmery, sparkly or powdery when you compare them to what I own today, I don’t want to sound rude at all, it’s just that I cannot afford to wear most of them anyway in terms of finish or texture, sometimes you can find mattes or textures that work really well but there are so so so many brands at the drugstores that there is no easy way to spot something that targets my age and preferences and despite truly hardcore swatching, believe me, I have been swatching hard, I would need your task force to manage to swatch all of them in 15 days :D

The items that I show here are somehow linked to last year’s haul, because what I loved last year, I got last year. This time it was about what I wanted to add to last year’s haul. In the upcoming weeks I will be reviewing some of this year and last year’s purchases. For example for SK-II I did not buy more items because I am not such a fan of their eyeshadows (bought 1 last year and that’s enough) but I am a huge fan of their blushes and I already have nearly all of them… Same for Chicca, loving their blushes but not a fan of the eyeshadows but I already own most of what I like from them. This is why some Japan brands are not shown here, it’s because I already own them, just need to tell you about :)

I could not afford to purchase everything that I loved, but most of the items you’ll see here have truly captured my heart, since I haven’t tried them all, there is a possibility I’ll be disappointed with some of them.

I want to point out that my BF was with me the whole time and he dislikes shopping, more than disliking, it’s a nightmare for him to endure browsing for make-up BUT, I want to point out to all your husbands/partners that the sales assistants are so so so so so sweet, respectful, helpful, fun, that he was actually happy to be shopping with me! Unbelievable!

Let’s start with showing how compacts can look over there, really gorgeous right ? and you haven’t seen the best ones but as I said, I could not get everything! Most of the times with higher end brands you can just purchase the refills but sometimes I just love the compacts and like to have at least one…

compacts

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Japan brush haul 2014

I could not dream of a better place to haul for brushes than Japan, this is my second trip to Japan and Kumano. I knew I was going to bring “some” with me but before I left I had a nightmare that I was back without any brush at all! Such a relief that I was able to get beautiful gems and take them home! I wanted more but my luggage and budget had limitations! :D

I am not sure if I should show you first pics of all these brushes in the same post but I believe some of you are dying to see what came with me, some of these are purchases and some are gifts and I have been spoiled really bad.

Unfortunately most of them here haven’t even been washed (this will likely happen today), so I couldn’t use them (except for a few that I could easily wash at the hotel). Once I have used them for a little while, I will be able to share my thoughts. This post is just for those of you who wanted to see what I brought.

Koyudo

This Yakusugi set is going to be released on CDJapan on the 30th of June, link here. This set is made with Yakusugi wood and with red squirrel bristles. There is another brush in the set not shown here but you would be getting 6 brushes for a quite high price BUT, if you really truly love brushes, this is the set of a lifetime. It’s made by Koyudo’s President himself and will be released in limited quantities. I simply could not leave Japan without it, I feel I cannot get anything as special as this. The review will come as soon as possible :)

The scent of the wood is still very present -I can’t stop smelling them, it’s truly mesmerizing. There is no lacquer on the wood, it’s 100% natural, there is no problem for washing them and if they get a scratch you can use sand paper (I guess not any sand paper!) and restore them but I will share more details on the review. I could just get this set and come back home and I will be happy but it doesn’t stop here…

koyudo1y

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Nars N° 42 Brush

It’s a crease brush day :)

There is something special about this brush, its weight, its length and its looks remind me of something mysterious, sexy and captivating, something like the Carnival of Venice for example. A close friend from Venice knows how much I love Carnivals and all the make-up and atmosphere that goes with it so he brought me this gorgeous mask directly from there!  Imagine this black mask paired with red lipstick…  Perfect. I have been wishing for a black mask since the day I saw Lisa in this video, and I subtly forwarded that link to my friend Alex who is an angel :D please go watch it, or don’t, because you’ll want one too  :)

 

NARS42

This Nars brush is heavy, long (specially when you are used to Koyudo or other very short brushes). It’s all matte black with discrete logos and, at the end of the handle it’s painted red.  When you hold it and start using it, there are a few scenarios possible, either :

  1. you feel like you are a femme fatale, holding such a heavy brush can be elegant, glamorous and give you a killer look
  2. you feel like a two year old, using an oversized pencil for his tiny little hands but that can actually look quite adorable
  3. you feel drunk-ish or allucinating, super clumsy,  thinking that the pan shrunk since last time you saw it and fearing you are not even going to hit it from such a loooong distance

I was there, in all 3 of them ! it started with the n°2, how am I going to hold this thing ?  then I got used to it but I was on medicine these past days and was feeling like being on drugs, I thought the pan was shrinking live in front of me, now I am in phase n°1, finally, I master it with elegance and I am very ready for Venice.

I am all about emotions when I buy a brush and even though I did not necessarily love the material, I fell in love with the looks.

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Hits and misses of past few months

In the past few months I have been buying many things as usual but did not had the time to review them so I thought I could write a global post about what was worth it and what not, it’s not a review at all but just some after-purchase thoughts and impressions. We all would like to return what doesn’t work for us but where I live there is no possibility and since I order most of the things abroad, there is no going back. But, looking back gives us a good lesson on where we lost our money, maybe also why, and it reminds us that we often just should stop buying without trying.

These are all purchases of the past months, going back 6 months actually, these are not only favorites but everything (except for brushes). I would love to know what you recently purchased and if it was a hit or a miss! We often tend to buy too many things just because it’s pretty or because it’s LE or because someone said it is a must-have but it’s useful to look back and see what mistakes we made and in the future try to spend more wisely or just be happy about our splurges and carry on :)

hitsmisses

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Red Lacquered Handle Canadian Squirrel blush brush

Koyudo recently released a brush that was (for a very short period of time!) available on the CDJapan website. It was sold out in a few hours and many of you could not get it, I heard they will release some in the future so if you want to have updates, you have to create an account and register to receive their newsletter.

I received mine today, it has been washed, dried, used and photographed for you, and let me tell you that I-LOVE-IT !

can7

I wanted to share these pics with you, to compare this one with the cheek brush from the Koyudo Echizen set.

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