Friday, July 13, 2007

Creative designer of a different kind


When I was a little girl, I've always dreamed of perhaps being a fashion designer! Hey, who doesn't love clothes? Later, I realised that I am not talented that way and was quite happy to study fashion marketing instead. As it turns out, I never did venture that way!

However, I found another area that those who are interested can ponder upon. A perfume designer. That is so interesting. You basically go from the concept and the fragrance and come up with the design of the bottle for the target market. It's still related to beauty but is from a different angle. When I think about it, the aesthetics of the bottle definitely plays a part in whether I do purchase the perfume.

Another name for this is cosmetic packaging. I came across this when I read an article about a female designer named Valerie Bernard. She started by specialising in graphic arts and packaging design. Moving on thereafter to Kobayashi Kose and created their trademark , cosmetics packaging and shopping bags. Ooh~ no wonder I love some of the shopping bags that I get from certain brands. They apparently have specialised people who create the designs.

She also created the design for the Espoir perfume from Korea. Now my guy friend loves this and is looking for new replenishment which we can't seem to find in Sydney. This is definitely an interesting area (potential career path) for those who are interested.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Kinsuikan Ryokan 锦水馆

I was in Japan recently for a holiday. Boy, was I excited!

We arrived at Kansai airport around 8pm and took the train to our first destination, Kyoto. According to the agent, accommodation in Kyoto is cheaper so we headed there. The train journey was 90 minutes and considering that we were quite Jap-illiterate, taking the subway seems risky and we ended up searching for our Ryokan hotel by foot.

Aahh~ the fresh cool air, the pebbled streets…it was wonderful.
A young and polite gentleman greeted us at the reception. Did I say that he was really soft spoken? Welcome to the world of Japan, polite and excellent customer service and society as a whole in general. Makes you wonder how the same society also breeds a strong pornographic industry.

Considering the warnings I’ve got about how small the rooms here can be due to lack of space, I have to say that my room was just spacious. We had a separate room which houses the washing basin and toilet.

Then there was the main room itself with more than adequate wardrobe space. A small area for dining and a TV and still enough room for our tatami beds. On the other end, slide away the sliding doors and you are greeted with another area which has a refrigerator as well as a full length mirror.

The tatami beds were just wonderful. Soft and fluffy, I felt like I was sleeping on clouds. We added another quilt on the floor and it was pure bliss. The pillow was made of some sort of sand so it was hard. Just the way I like it, you can mould it to fit your head and it gives support to your neck.

We got the room that we had to use this shared bath (same sex only of course!) with the rest of the guests. Must say I was a little nervous the first time I went as you had to be stark naked. There was a hot spa and showers all over the side of the area. After walking for hours on end everyday, the hot spa was really a welcoming end to the day. I loved the shared bath after that and looked forward to it everyday.

I definitely loved my stay at the Kinsuikan Ryokan. For less than AUD50 per night per person, it's definitely a good deal! Did I mention that you can get a host of information as well as buying bus tickets and souvenirs at the reception too?


zip 604-8074 531,Asakuracho,
Sanjo sagaru,Tminokoji,Nakagyou-ku,Kyoto
TEL: (075) 255 3930

Importance of removing eye makeup


Do you have dark eye circles?

They might not be dark eye circles after all.

Some dermatologists have mentioned that when they look at their patient’s skin under a magnifying glass, quite a number of them actually have make up crusted into the lines around the eyes.

So that means that those dark circles you see could potentially be dirt and grime and make up instead. Removing eye make up is more important than ever! Especially if you regularly wear foundation, eye-shadows etc…

The skin around our eyes are thinner than the rest of the face, so it is definitely not recommended to be using an eye make up remover and be pulling and tugging away at our eye area.

For those who wear minimal makeup, a gentle water soluble cleanser would suffice.

For the rest of us who uses make up on a regular basis, such a routine isn’t going to be enough.
My suggestion is to first wash your face with a cleanser. I’ve recently discovered the virtues of using oil-based cleansers when I have makeup on. Using a facial cleanser means that you are gently massaging all over the face will prevent tugging and pulling at the eyes and skin.

After using the cleanser, the last traces of makeup can be removed with a gentle makeup remover or eye makeup remover and a soft cotton pad (minimising pulling and tugging as much as possible). This double cleansing will help to prevent having traces of make up crusted in those lines around the eyes.

Hmm..maybe I should start using the eye mask I bought earlier which you are meant to massage around the eyes when you’re in the shower.

This brings me to a separate tip, how you clean your face with water after using a cleanser is really important as well. I noticed people who really scrape and tug at their skin when washing off with water. That is bad as when you age, your skin will not be as elastic and all that action will only exacerbate those age lines.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

L'oreal Bare Naturale Powdered Mineral Foundation SPF19


L'oreal has decided to jump on the bandwagon around the whole mineral makeup hype and created their own version of a mineral make up foundation. I was quite curious when I saw it being promoted and decided to test it out.

I went on to the L'oreal website to get a bit more information and this was what I found. It promises flawless, skin perfecting coverage using a brush and contains vitamins and minerals as well. It also comes with SPF19 which is important in any foundation. Further research reveals that the active sunscreen ingredient being used is titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. It still uses talc which is what a lot of mineral makeup brands are claiming that shouldn't be used and their products don't contain them. However, talc has been researched to be potentially less irritating actually.

I decided to try out the testers at the display stand. It comes in a compact size with the brush included. There is a potential for some wastage when you tap the brush to get rid of excess powder but I guess you just need to be careful. I quite like the whole package and size as it is small and can be slip into any bag for touch ups. I tested 2 shades "Light Ivory" and "Nude Beige". They both blended really well and the trick is that a little goes a long way. You really have to start with just a little and build up from there or the end effect will not be natural. It does comes with instructions so it's not that hard to apply.

In certain lighting, it does look really natural while standing under a yellow light seems to make it look too pasty in the shop. Maybe I might have put on too much or it wasn't the exact right shade. I think with practice, you will get the desired effect. My skin felt really soft and it did cover minor imperfections as well and with minimal shine.

This is probably ideal for someone with normal skin bordering on a little oily. Applying on dry skin will most likely highlight the dry areas and the same goes for oily skin too. I think it is most ideal for those who have quite a good complexion and do not want to wear foundation and just want a light coverage.

I do wonder if sheer application will give you enough sunscreen coverage though. It retails at AUD32 at Priceline. I am quite impressed with this as well as the brush that comes with it. Might consider getting this after using up my current foundation.
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