Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A Magical, Whimsical, Kawaii Journey to Oz with Hello Kitty & Friends!

♫ XIA (Junsu) - OeO

You already know my love for all things Hello Kitty, so of course I had to share this! :D

Everybody knows Hello Kitty; she's the most famous cat in the world, and the global icon of kawaii ('cute' in Japanese) culture. This time around, Hello Kitty arrives at our Malaysian shores as the Great Witch of Oz, just in time for Halloween, with the “Journey to Oz” attraction opening in Sanrio Hello Kitty Town at Puteri Harbour, Johor on 31st October 2015.

Inspired by L. Frank Baum's “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” children’s story, Hello Kitty in Oz combines the characters from Hello Kitty's world with aspects from the beloved classic tale. Just like the timeless Wizard of Oz classic, it presents a whimsical fusion of Hello Kitty and the Wizard of Oz, bringing the cast of both stories to life in a magical experience that bespeaks adventure and the quest to find courage, wisdom, and heart.

Hello Kitty as the Great Witch of Oz
Photo from Cosmopolitan HK
The Hello Kitty in Oz attraction is the first of its kind in South East Asia, at the first Sanrio Hello Kitty Town themed attraction in the world outside of its native Japan. Hello Kitty fans, both young and old, are sure to love the mixture of kawaii and whimsy in this new attraction at Sanrio Hello Kitty Town.

The “Journey to Oz” roadshow will kick-start at Quill City Mall in Kuala Lumpur from 23rd to 25th October, before making its way to various other states around the country. Visitors to the roadshow can answer Hello Kitty's call for Heroes to save the enchanted Land of Oz and participate in the Search for Oz – a search and win activity. There will also be character appearances, lucky draws, colouring activities for children and a themed setting for kawaii photo and selfie opportunities.

(L-R) Mr Ng Chee Keong, Chief Operating Officer of Quill City Mall, Ms. Melissa Wong, Centre Manager of Quill City Mall, Badtz Maru, Dorothy of Oz, and En. Fahruddin Najumudeen, General Manager of SANRIO HELLO KITTY TOWN
In conjunction with this new attraction, Sanrio Hello Kitty Town will also open a special Hello Kitty in Oz pop-up store that will carry exclusive limited edition Hello Kitty in Oz collectible merchandises.
How cute is this Hello Kitty x Oz plushie?!
More exclusive "Hello Kitty in Oz" exclusive merchandise at the pop-up store
Head over to Sanrio Hello Kitty Town's Facebook page for more information on the Hello Kitty in Oz roadshow dates, or visit the official Hello Kitty Town Instagram page.

*Press release

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Kirei Station - The Latest Cosmetics and Skincare Direct From Japan!

♫ 【福山ッスル!】モリモリマッスルスル体操
(Warning: This song will get stuck in your head.)

After a long streak of reviewing and using Korean makeup, I figured it was time to get back to my blogging roots of Japanese beauty products - and by that I mean Kosé skincare, Dolly Wink eyeliner, Hada Labo toners, Majolica blushers and Canmake eyeshadows. Thankfully, the discovery of a new Japanese cosmetics online store helped to remind me of the minor, but very important, fact that my love of makeup originated from the Land of the Rising Sun.

Kirei Station (綺麗ステーション) is an online store based in Yokohama, Japan that offers Japanese cosmetics, health and skincare products at competitive prices. (綺麗 kirei means pretty or beautiful in Japanese.) The website itself is fairly new, as it was only started earlier this year, and currently has over 400 products for sale. You can find products from familiar brands including Kosé Esprique, DejaVu, Kiss Me, Canmake, Candy Doll and Shiseido Aqualabel, along with brands not available in Malaysia such as Kosé Visee, Kosé Hadakiwami, Elixir Superieur, NOV, Kikumasamune, Albion, Shiseido Ibuki, Shiseido D Program, Shiseido Haku and Japan Gal. They also have a good selection of collagen supplements, which are extremely popular in Japan.

Kirei Station main page + product category menu
All products view
Oh, did I mention that they also carry Les Merveilleuses de Laduree makeup?! I was literally drooling in front of my laptop when I saw their update. (º﹃º)

*adds everything to Wish List*
The super nice folks at Kirei Station were kind enough to send me some products to review, which not only gave me the opportunity to explore their website, but also to gauge their customer service and product delivery efficiency.

My first impression of the website was that it looked rather plain (no custom logo), but the tabs/categories were clearly displayed, making it easy to navigate. The Shopping Guide and Terms & Conditions sections were straight to the point and easily understood, while the products were well-sorted into their respective categories. I also like how there was a Manager's Diary section to feature recommended items. Although their items don't look like much, trust me when I say that there were enough choices for me to spend some time deciding which products to pick. :P As for shipping, Kirei Station uses Japan Post (EMS or regular Air Mail depending on the option you choose during checkout); my parcel was sent via EMS and arrived safely within a week.

Japan Post EMS ftw!
Kirei Station ships worldwide, and the shipping charges are really quite affordable, since it's shipped directly from Japan. I highly recommend opting for EMS (especially if you're placing an order with multiple items), as it's faster and includes a tracking number. Regular air mail is the cheaper delivery option, and should be fairly reliable albeit slightly slower. Check out the shipping cost list below:

Worldwide shipping costs for Kirei Station
You must be curious to know exactly which items I chose, so here they are:

FANCL Washing Powder II Moist (link)
I started my first proper skincare routine with Kosé Sekkisei's powder cleanser and really liked it, so I chose this Fancl powder cleanser to try. I like powder cleansers because they lather up easily and are convenient to carry around for travel - no hassle with liquids!

FANCL Washing Powder II Moist
Kosé Visee CC Watery Foundation (link)
Is it a CC cream? Or is it a foundation? From the name, I got the impression that it would function more like a sheer foundation. I couldn't find any reviews of this particular product online, so I decided to take the plunge and pick one in a shade that *hopefully* matched my skintone. Which shade did I pick? How did it fare? Well, you'll just have to wait for my review! ;)
Kosé Visee CC Watery Foundation
Kosé Esprique Rich Fondue Rouge (link)
You know I'm a lipstick fiend, so of course I couldn't pass up the opportunity to get my hands on this beautiful Esprique lipstick. The shade I chose is PK860, a lovely everyday pink with very fine shimmer. Can't wait to share my review of it with you guys! :D
Kosé Esprique Rich Fondue Rouge

Are you tempted to check out Kirei Station yet? (๑>◡<๑) Head over to their website to browse for products, and visit their Facebook page to get updates on the latest arrivals and best-selling products in Japan. Stay tuned for my reviews of the items mentioned above! (。✪‿✪。)

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Review: Mediheal Mask Dress Code Black

♫ Taylor Swift - Wildest Dreams

You couldn't have possibly expected me to leave you hanging after teasing you with a glance at this one after the previous Mediheal Mask Dress Code Blue review, could you?
Wait, don't answer that. It was a rhetorical question.

In any case, I'm too excited about these pretty mask sheets to keep them to myself, so I'll be sharing with you my experience using another mask from the same range - Mediheal Mask Dress Code Black.

Pearl is effective on moisturizing and anti-aging, can protect and revitalize the damaged skin as well as improve the skin problem. The mask uses advanced fiber material with high transparency and 3D cutting, it uses a special dye which is harmless, even at high temperatures of 95°C there is no staining or discoloration. Its safety formula combines care and beauty, bringing a new concept of visual mask!
Similar to the blue variant, the mask is very thin and fully saturated with the essence. I had to be extra careful when unfolding the mask because it was quite difficult to find its edges, and its thinness made me worry that my long nails would accidentally tear it. However, despite seeming very fragile, I am happy to report that it remained intact before, during and after application.

This was taken after use.
The material of the mask retains moisture very well; it was soaking wet when I first took it out and it didn't dry up even after having it on my face for well over 30 minutes. That's more than enough time for me to take an unnecessary amount of selfies, ha!

The main functions of the Dress Code Black mask are moisturising and whitening, so let's find out how it fares. From the ingredients, you can see that niacinamide - mainly used in whitening products - is one of the main components (like the Secret Key Snow White Cream), in addition to cocoa, pearl, honey, caviar, propolis, royal jelly, licorice and sesame. (Wait, all that actually sounds pretty delicious. O_o) Having had some bad experiences with royal jelly skincare products, I was a bit wary at first, but decided what the heck, I'd already bought the masks and they deserve to be used. To my relief, my skin did not have any adverse reactions to the mask. (≧∇≦)

The Mediheal Mask Dress Code Black has a pretty nice but subtle scent (although I still prefer the scent of Dress Code Blue), and also doesn't feel as hydrating as the blue variant. For the whitening claims, I'd probably have to use it regularly for at least a couple of weeks to see results. It worked well to boost moisture, but somehow it was a little disappointing to find that the slightly cheaper blue version had the same effect, if not better. The Dress Code Black mask also seemed a little too wide (my face is already quite big lllorz) and the gap around the eye area left a good part of my skin exposed.

Oh, did I mention that the black version is slightly more pricey? For some reason, the black variant of these Dress Code masks is slightly more expensive than the other variants. It could be due to the more luxurious ingredients (caviar, anyone?), or perhaps because of these...

Yes, rhinestones! Plastic ones, but still. The glittering red rhinestones definitely add a luxe element to these (already) elegant sheet masks, and it really does make the whole experience just a little more special. Of course, there's also the internal conflict involving the decision whether to throw away the mask after use. #TheStruggleIsReal

So, there you have it. In a nutshell, the Mediheal Mask Dress Code Black mask is definitely prettier than all the others in the range, and it works wonderfully to moisturize my skin in one use (while its whitening properties can only be commented on after several regular uses). However, since I am able to compare it to Dress Code Blue, I feel that the blue is much better for hydration, and smells really nice to boot. The black version is comparatively a bit more expensive, but if you're a sucker for novelty pretty and quirky things like me, then by all means, go ahead.

You know you want to. ;)

Monday, August 24, 2015

Rave Review: Mediheal Mask Dress Code Blue

♫ Redfoo - New Thang

Okay, so first of all, I need to apologise for the slight hiatus from my blog. The usual mix of work, writer's block, ennui, laziness... and (I'm ashamed to admit this) lack of interest in most new makeup and skincare lately. *gasp* Well, in addition to the fact that I can't afford to buy the ones I'm really interested in, and not being able to attend events since I'm working during office hours now. (╥_╥)

So what prompted me to crawl out of my hermit's cave, feeling the urgent need to rave about my latest discovery? The very intriguing, extremely hydrating, excessively glamorous facial mask sheet from Korea - Mediheal Mask Dress Code Blue.

I know the current rage now are animal mask sheets, and while I can totally appreciate the novel fun of mask sheets with cute animal faces on them, I had already fallen for the spell of these masquerade-like mask sheets after seeing pics of them online.


"With a variety of vanilla extract, baobab leaves, cactus flower, medicine sage leaves, lavender, rosemary, mother chrysanthemum, it effectively retains water, firms skin, anti-aging and keeping cells alive, clears skin, oil control, whitening as well as soothing . The mask uses advanced fiber material with high transparency and 3D cutting, it uses a special dye which is harmless, even at high temperatures of 95 degrees celsius, there is no staining or discoloration. Its safety formula combines care and beauty, bringing a new concept of visual mask!"
I was pretty surprised when I first pulled out the mask, as it seemed very thin and flimsy, with a slight gel-like texture due to the essense. You do have to be rather careful when unfolding the mask (especially if you have long fingernails) as it is quite thin, but it feels really comfortable on the face and doesn't dry up even after the recommended 20 minutes.

What the mask looks like after using
In fact, I think I left it on for a good 30-35 minutes because I was too busy taking selfies, ha! There was more than enough essence left in the mask for me to slather it on my arms and legs before throwing it away. I've never felt so reluctant to throw away a (used) mask sheet, lol.

Besides somehow managing to absorb and retain an amazing amount of essence, the paper-thin mask also fits very well on my face, covering all the way to the hairline and ears. It just barely covers my jawline, although I'd attribute that to having a wide face and chubby cheeks. (╯_╰)

Of course, how could I forget the gorgeous design printed on the mask itself? That's basically the main attraction of these masks, and although it's no less gimmicky than the animal masks, I really like them because wearing it makes me feel super elegant and glamorous. (◡‿◡✿)

I honestly felt underdressed in my usual home clothes while having the Dress Code mask on my face wtf
Where's my smokey eye makeup ballgown and lace fan when I need them?! (¬_¬)

The main function of the Mediheal Mask Dress Code Blue is hydration, and is suitable for acne or trouble-prone skin. I can safely say that its hydration claims are justified - my skin looked and felt noticeably moisturized after the first use, and was still well-hydrated the next morning after sleeping in an air-conditioned room. It also has a very pleasant scent; I can't exactly describe it but trust me when I say it's really nice and rather soothing, thanks to ingredients such as bamboo, lavender, rosemary, sage and the main hydrating ingredient which is sea water (not the salty type lol).

Before & After

From all the raving I've done above, you can say that I'm absolutely smitten with these Mediheal Dress Masks, and with good reason - they are not only fun to use, but also pack a punch in terms of quality, comfort and hydration. They are rather pricey (averaging RM10 per sheet), but I managed to score two boxes at bargain prices online so I'm really pleased with the risk I took, buying them without having any reviews to fall back on. Definitely HG status for these lovelies!

Stay tuned for my next update, which will be of the Mediheal Mask Dress Code Black! (๑>◡<๑)
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