Innovative Asian Beauty

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It really irks me how behind the U.S. is in EVERYTHING.  It's bad enough that Asia is so much more advanced in technology and fashion, but we can't even keep up in BEAUTY??  Why does Asia have products out for 5-10 years before we even begin the catch on?  Don't they have beauty ambassadors or something?  People who scour the world for the newest innovations in beauty and send the message home?  Apparently not!

Take cleansing oil for instance.  Shu Uemura debuted its famous oil in 1967.  People have been using this stuff forever and it takes FORTY YEARS for American and European brands to start coming out with their own versions.




Another example is sheet/cloth masks.  Asians have preferred "wet masks" to drying clays and muds for years.  They're pretty much a skincare staple and yet it's just recently began to come out in the States -- and at ridiculous prices -- $10-20 per mask as opposed to $1-3 a mask in Asia.



Some other Asian innovations that we have yet to see:

BB Cream

If you don't know what BB cream is you can just leave my blog now.  HAHA just kidding -- you can just read my "BB Cream 101" post.  But it's as common a word as "foundation" in Korea and Asia and SUCH a huge phenomenon and product -- why haven't American brands developed their own versions yet?  If I saw ANY company come out with a BB Cream at Sephora I would jump on it immediately.


Exfoliating Gel

I think the original exfoliating gel is Cure Natural Aqua Gel -- one of the best selling products in Japan.  But many Asian brands have come out with a similar gel.  The Asians have moved on from harsh scrubs and beads and developed this unique scrub free gel.  You basically rub the gel all over your face and it takes off the dead skin -- you can even see the balls of dead skin form as you rub!




Flavored Eye Drops 

So we do carry Rohto eye drops in the States but only in the mint flavored varieties.  Japan on the other hand has LYCEE flavored drops!  I know it sounds a bit strange, "tasting with your eyes" as my friend Jane likes to say, but I think it'd be pretty cool to have lychee flavored eyes lol.



Okay so the next few products aren't necessarily innovative but they're definitely cute!  These are brands that I think they should bring over to the States -- cuz if you can't beat em -- join em!


Etude House

Etude House is the ultimate girly girl Korean cosmetic brand.  Think lots of pinks, hearts, and Hello Kitty -- their stores are even designed to look like doll houses! They also have the prettiest and girliest models -- currently endorsed by pop group 2ne1.







Tony Moly

Visiting a Tony Moly store is like going to a dessert bar or coffee shop.  Delicious products such as Latte Art Milk Creamy Essence and Berry Berry Wrinkle Sleeping Pack in Blueberry just make you want to eat everything!  And Tony Moly has by far the cutest packaging ever!





Jill Stuart

Okay what gives?  Jill Stuart is an AMERICAN designer and yet she only sells her GORGEOUS makeup line in Asia???!!!  Where's the loyalty here?  Jill Stuart products are some of the post coveted items by beauty bloggers -- absolutely beautiful palettes and make-up bags adorned with lace and jewels.


Skin Food

Skin food is like a farmer's market for the face -- just like the name says -- food for skin!   Best sellers include the Peach Sake Emulsion, Parsley & Mandarin Spot Gel, and Lettuce & Cucumber Water Jelly Cream




Deal of the Day:

20% off at Ulta.com.  Use code "44480" at checkout.  Or print out this coupon to use in store.  Ends tomorrow, 1/29!

I'm Going Organic!

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For a week anyways.  I've decided to take the plunge and attempt "The Master Cleanse."  The diet consists of drinking only a concoction of fresh lemon juice, organic maple syrup, cayenne pepper and water for 10 days along with a sea salt laxative twice a day.   Yes I know it sounds horrible.  It's most well known for helping Beyonce shed 20 pounds for her role in "Dream Girls," but I've been hearing about it over and over again in the past few weeks from countless people.  My friend Mary just finished it and said she feels amazing; Emily recently went to an organic food and detox discussion and they spoke about its benefits;  and my sister Christina swears after 3 days on this diet she was "too skinny."

There are many reasons for attempting "The Master Cleanse."  Detox, weight loss, and I've even heard of it curing diabetes and chronic neck and back problems.  Beauty wise it's supposed to clear up your complexion due to the toxins being flushed out of your body.  Now before people start lecturing me about the harms and risks, believe me, I've done my research.  I'm well aware of BOTH sides of the argument.

My eating habits have gone to shit (for lack of a better term) ever since moving to Vegas.  All those buffets, fast food, and free flowing alcohol have taken a major toll on my body and I need something drastic to change up my diet.  Not to mention I was in a car accident 3 years ago that left a constant pain in my neck and back.  I literally pop my neck non stop and I'm afraid my heads just going to fall off soon!   I know it all sounds far fetched but I guess I'm just gullible like that.  I mean, why not give it a try -- worst case scenario I drop a few pounds!

For someone who loves to eat, this diet is going to take MAJOR discipline.  I heard the hunger pangs stop after the third day but let's see if I can even make it that far!  The diet stresses using FRESH lemons and ORGANIC maple syrup.  I honestly don't know why -- I've always considered the term "organic" a gimmick.  But I figure I'm gonna be gung ho -- if I'm going to do this I'm going to go all out -- I even spulrged on organic yoga clothes.  Strenuous exercise is not recommended while on the cleanse so I will just be doing some light yoga.   I feel like a hippie or something haha -- but hey I like to stay in theme!





 
In the spirit of things I looked into "natural" beauty products.  One brand I've been really curious about is Boscia.  It is a Japanese brand that claims to be one of the world's first preservative-free, botanically-based skincare lines.  I've read many good things about them and have plenty of samples from Sephora so I will be trying them out this week.

Some other natural and organic brands:











Deal of the Day:



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Both items are absolutely free with FREE SHIPPING.  While supplies last!
Thanks to Jennifer of Life & Lens of Beauty for the heads up!

DIY Green Tea Beauty

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Because my good friend Emily finally launched her tea blog, Days of Milk & Honey,  I thought I would do an entry dedicated to my favorite tea -- matcha (or green tea!).

Okay so I drink EXCESSIVE amounts of tea.  Probably 3-4 cups a day.  I know green tea is packed with antioxidants and all but I dunno if that's considered caffeine overload?

I was really disappointed with this box of Bigelow Organic Green Tea I bought from Target (I know, what did I expect from Target?).  It left a weird oily film on the top of my tea and it didn't even taste like green tea!  So I was on a mission to find a REAL green tea.  And then I stumbled across Touch Organic Teas.  I guess when it comes to tea, "made in China" is a good thing haha -- tastes like the yummy stuff you get at sushi restaurants.  So yummy in fact, that I bought the 100-pack cube and finished it in a month!


And green tea has got to be the awesomest flavor ever invented.  I mean who doesn't love green tea ice cream or mochi?  The Japanese have definitely gone green tea crazy from kit kats to coke to McDonald's Mcflurries.


And the U.S is slowly catching on with Starbuck's Green Tea Frappes, Green Tea vitamin water, and my personal favorite soda -- Canada Dry's Green Tea Ginger ale.


Anyways I'm getting off the subject and I could go on for days about different green tea products lol.  I know I JUST talked about facial mist in a previous post but I had to do another quick screen shot of a scene in the Korean drama Athena: Goddess of War -- because there's BoA with the facial mist!


Which leads to today's DIY -- green tea facial mist!  As much as I love facial mist I can't help but feel somewhat wasteful when I spray expensive product all over my face through out the day.  I've seen other recipes for just putting a cup of green or peppermint tea in a spray bottle but to me that just feels like water and doesn't offer any moisturizing properties.  So Emily and I did a bit of tweaking and experimenting and came up with this:

What you'll need
1 green tea bag or loose tea leaves
1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 cup Rose Water (available at Wholefoods or you can make your own by following these instructions)
Vitamin E Oil
Mini Spray Bottle -- you can pick up a cheap one at Walmart or CVS.  I like to save my old Shu Uemura bottles and pretend I'm still using an expensive mist lol!

1) Steep the tea in 1/2 cup boiling water.  Although most recipes call for just the usual strength tea I like to make mine extra strong for extra antioxidants!
2) Let the tea cool to room temperature.
3) Add the rose water.  Rose water helps keep skin moisturized, fresh, and balances the pH.
4) Add a couple drops of Vitamin E Oil.   Vitamin E Oil acts as an antioxidant which prevents the formation of free radicals on the skin and also has anti-inflammatory properties. In addition it prevents water loss from the skin and helps to retain its natural moisture.
5) Pour into spray bottle.  Keep it in the fridge or carry it around in your purse!
6) Spray as needed for a refreshing mist!

Optional Ingredients
Olive Oil
Tea Tree Oil
Apple Cider Vinegar
Lavender Water

I'll be jumping on the plane in a few hours and will definitely take this with me to keep my skin hydrated in the air!

Deal of the Day

Those of you who've ever been to a Big Lots know of the AMAZING prices they have on beauty products!  I would say it's somewhere between Dollar Tree and Walmart with most makeup and beauty supplies about 50% off.  Well this week only enjoy an ADDITIONAL 20% off.  You can bet I'll be doing a Big Lots haul soon!  Ends Sun, Jan 30.  Print the coupon here.

An Impressive You Tube Guru

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Youtube "gurus" are a dime a dozen.  And while I can sit for hours on end watching these videos and be entertained, I would rarely say that I'm impressed.

Take away the fancy editing, the voice overs, and the obnoxious music -- add in heart-to-heart honesty, eloquent speech, and classic beauty that rivals Olivia Palermo -- and you get Nurberxo.



This Saudi Arabian beauty prefers using her fingers to apply eye shadow, jojoba oil to remove her make-up, and doesn't even OWN a Mac brush or shadow.  And she's so well versed that if she told you she were a doctor you'd probably believe her.

Some people may be bored with the frill-less videos and extensive talking but I find her extremely knowledgeable and talented.  And in a strange way she makes you feel as if she really cares about the way your skin and make-up looks.  It's definitely refreshing to see a YouTuber that hasn't conformed to the masses and remains practical .  And not to worry -- her make-up skills are ON POINT.

Semi-DIY Fruit Enzyme Mask/Scrub
Here is a fantastic semi-diy mask/scrub that she recommends.

All you need is:
($3.99 @ CVS)
(found at CVS, Dollar store, etc)


Directions
1) Add a couple drops of water to 3-4 tablets of aspirin to break it down
2) Gently scrub your face with the aspirin for 5-10 seconds
3) Squeeze out some of the enzyme mask and massage it onto your face (over the aspirin) for another 30 seconds.  This will further break down the aspirin bits.
4) Leave the mask on for 10 mins then wash off. 

Notes:
The aspirin contains salicylic acid and the mask contains pineapple extract and AHAs -- all wonderful exfoliants.  Your face will feel incredibly soft and supple after using this mask!


Deal of the Day:

Hautelook is having a sale on Michael Todd cosmetics.  Get 50-70% off a gorgeous selection of blushes, mascaras, shadows, lip gloss, and more.  Ends Friday, Jan 21 at 8am Pacific.  Check out the sale here.

Dollar Tree Beauty Haul

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So I know not everyone sets aside a Sephora bankroll.  But hey, I don't discriminate when it comes to beauty!  In fact those who know me will quickly tell you I'm quite the bargain hunter.  When I'm low on funds or just for the heck of it I like to hit up my local Dollar Tree for an affordable beauty fix!You'd actually be pretty amazed at the amount of drugstore name brands they carry -- and I've even come to depend on the Dollar Tree for some of my every day staples.


LA Colors Expressions Liquid Eyeliner

Applies a nice fine line but can get a little crusty.  I like to layer this on top of the pencil liner.

LA Colors Auto Eyeliner

These are always in stock and I've been known to buy five at a time!  Not the best eyeliners in the world and can get quite smudgy but it works great under liquid liner when you want to create a thicker line -- and absolutely perfect for tight lining.


Sally Hansen Lip Gloss

 
It's kind of sad (yet pretty amazing) that a dollar store gloss falls into my lip gloss top 5.  Sally Hanson definitely got these right -- ESPECIALLY the Lacquer Shine -- whenever I'm lucky enough to find these I buy out the whole store.  Most girls complain about gooiness in lip gloss but that's exactly what these are -- utter gooey perfection.  Gives your lips that thick glassy "lacquered" look and the perfect tint of color. 

Swatches of Liquid Liner, Pencil Liner, Lacquer Shine Lipgloss in "Orchid", respectively


Maybelline Mineral Power Blush Naturally Luminous Makeup


 
I grabbed one of these some time last year just to try it out and ended up really liking it.  Great pigment and very pretty pink.  I haven't been able to find any since so I was pretty excited to see them again.  I picked up "Gentle Pink", "Original Rose", and "True Peach."


Colgate Sensitive Multi protection Toothpaste
My parents and boyfriend can only use Sensodyne toothpaste which can get pretty expensive at about $5-6 a tube.  What is it with Asians and sensitive teeth?  So I was happy to find this name brand "dupe" for only $1.


Cover Girl Eyeslicks duo gel liners in neon pink and lilac
I'm not much of a Cover Girl fan -- reminds me of high school -- and even then I didn't love it lol.  But at 50 cents each ($1 for a duo pack) why not give it a whirl! 


Misc Eyelashes and Nail Jewels


 Loreal Lipliner & Eyeshadow Duos


Elf Lashes, Lipgloss, & Nail Polish


Almar Eye Palettes
 I saved the best for last!  Ross has been known to carry these high quality $3.99 dupes of the Too Faced Smokey Eye and Natural Eye Palettes.  They also have both at the Dollar Tree -- same brand -- just without the blushes.  The colors are surprisingly creamy and pigmented.  (Click on images for a larger view.)







Deal of the Day:

Get 10 of Sephora's best skincare samples with any purchase.  Enter "SPLURGE" at checkout.