Review // Hakuhodo J5523 & J142

hakuhodo J5523 and J142

hakuhodo  (2 of 3)

hakuhodo  (3 of 3)

As I’ve mentioned before in a post I’ve been trying to expand my brush collection, especially my eye brushes (because I used to only have one!). So a while back I ordered 2 Hakuhodo brushes, the J5523 (a MAC 217 equivalent) and the J142. I bought both from a seller in instagram named iroiroshopu, they do Japanese cosmetics and brushes preorders for Indonesian customer. They usually open a pre-order for about two weeks, in which time we have to pay at least 50% of the total price. After the pre-order closed, they’ll ship all the pre-order stuff in one package to Indonesia and it’s expected to arrive in Indonesia in about two weeks. After that, we’ll be notified to pay the rest, and our individual package will be shipped to our door. It’s a pretty convenient way to shop for me, but for some the waiting process might be too much! Long story short, my brushes arrived back in November and I’ve been happily using it ever since! I’ve never tried the MAC 217, but the Hakuhodo J5523 is just sooooo soft! I’ve heard some people said after they tried Hakuhodo brushes, the MAC ones just doesn’t compare. So I don’t think I’ll ever be tempted to buy the MAC 217 after I had this J5523.

I received the package with a sheet of cleaning instructions. On there it’s said to gently wipe on a sheet of tissue after each usage, that way the bristles don’t get dirty as easily and we don’t need to wash it as much. So far I’ve only washed it twice, once when it first arrive and about two weeks after that. Between washes, especially if you’re using dark eye shadows, the bristles will look dirty, but if you’ve wiped it on a piece of tissue paper until all the excess shadow are gone, it will still be quite clean to use.

Shape wise, as you can see in the picture, Hakuhodo J5523 has a pinched ferrule, giving it a flatter shape compared to the round (not pinched) ferrule of the J142. This allows the J5523 to be used on it’s side to “pat” eyeshadow into the lid area. Maybe it won’t work as good as a flat shader brush if you’re trying to pack the color, but if you’re just trying to put some color into the lid it works just fine. On the other hand the round ferrule of the J142 doesn’t make it as good to use for patting eyeshadow on the lid. Both brushes have quite a fluffy tip, making it perfect for blending eyeshadow into the crease. J142 have a more pointed tip compared to the J5523, again because the J5523 have a pinched ferrule. Both of these brushes is roughly the same size, but with J142 having a more pointed tip, it allows more precision when putting a darker color on the outer corner of the eye. I personally prefer using bigger brush to blend the lid and crease color together, so I mainly use J5523 for this task. But when I want to make the eye look a bit darker, a bit smokier, I’ll use J142 to put the color on the outer corner of the eye.

Since I’m no expert in eye shadow application, these two brushes have served all my needs for eye brushes. But, being the make up addict that I am, I still want some other eye brushes, like the Bobbi Brown Eye Blender. It’s all because of Anna from Viviannadoesmakeup. She makes it seems like a very important tool for the final blend of eyeshadows! I don’t know whether or not that particular brush is available in the counters though, so I can only hope I will get it… And of course there’s the gorgeous Zoeva Rose Golden Luxury Set, which as the name suggest is very luxurious, and gorgeus. The 227 Soft Definer in that set is another MAC 217 dupe, and the whole range just seem so versatile.

So, what brushes do you use? What would you recommend to me? Do share in the comment below 🙂


A Little about Skincare..

a little about skincare (4 of 2)So a while ago my friend wrote a post over at one of her social media account, it’s something about how she just got into the skincare world and all the things like toner, emulsion, moisturizer, etc confused her. I commented on her post and it turned into some kind of a discussion with some other friends as audience. I was going to send her over to my blog to have some read and maybe it will clear some of her confusion when I realized I have never actually wrote a post about skincare. So, I thought I would share some of my knowledge about skincare here. I’m not in any way professional about this kind of thing, but I’ve been following A LOT (and by a lot I mean hundreds) of beauty blogs, and I’ve picked up some things about skincare here and there.. So, here’s a little post about skincare for those of you who’s just getting into it.

First, skincare is something that you put on your skin (especially face) to care for it. Skincare has benefits for the skin. Skincare isn’t meant to repair your skin overnight, so patient is key. Lately there have been some kind of skincare and makeup hybrid like BB cream, but in my opinion, they’re more makeup than skincare. If you’re just getting into skincare, here’s a few skincare item I recommend using (in order of use) :

  1. Cleanser. A good facial cleanser is a must. As the name suggest, cleanser is used to remove dirt from your skin. I wouldn’t recommend foaming cleanser (especially the ones with Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate — I would steer clear of it) because I always feel it’s stripping the skin. Personally I prefer cream cleanser like The Body Shop Tea Tree Cool and Creamy Wash, but that’s my personal preference. Depending on your skin type, you might prefer gel cleanser.
  2. Exfoliating toner. When I was younger and I know nothing about skin care, what I know toner is something you use after using milk cleanser (Indonesians may know it from brands like Viva). A lot of the time those kinds of toner are astringents that contains alcohol. They’re meant to wipe residues from the milk cleanser and close the pore of your skin. But that’s not the kind of toner I’m talking about here. I’m talking about exfoliating toner. The kind of toner that contains acid (mostly glycolic acid — AHA or BHA) that helps the regenerating process of your skin, getting rid of the dead skin cells on the top of your skin. With continued use, this kind of toner will help bring the glow back to your dull skin. Pictured above is the Alpha Hydrox Liquid Gold, a concentrated exfoliating toner. Be advised that it’s very important to read the instruction of use from each exfoliating toner. This one in particular can only be used every other night, while some other exfoliating toner can be used up to twice a day, morning and night. Other exfoliating toner includes : Pixi Glow Tonic, Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner, Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid.
  3. Moisturizer. A good old moisturizer is probably something most people have been familiar with. A note about moisturizer : It’s meant to moisturize your skin. I wouldn’t go looking for the most expensive moisturizer that promises to give the skin everything you can dream and more, because in my opinion moisturizer is meant to only moisturize the skin. It’s going to sit there on top of the skin keeping the moisture inside your skin. If you’re after something that will help you with specific concerns, I would recommend using serum, because it’s texture will allow it to penetrate deeper into the skin rather than sitting there on top of the skin doing nothing. There’s a whole different range of moisturizer, from the cheapest to the most expensive. I’m currently using The Body Shop Vitamin E Aqua Boost.
  4. Sunscreen/Sunblock. If you live anywhere in the world where there’s sun, it’s important to use sunscreen. Especially if you’re using exfoliating toner. An exfoliating toner will make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so you’ll have to wear sunscreen/sunblock. Sunscreen is something you wouldn’t see the benefit until you start developing wrinkles due to premature aging. So, if you’re concerned about the future of your skin, just remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. than My current Sunscreen of choice is Biore Aqua Rich Watery Essence Sunscreen SPF50+ PA+++.
  5. Make up remover. I don’t know whether or not make up remover is considered skincare, but I will put it in anyway just because it’s very important. If you’re wearing make up or even just sunscreen/sunblock, this is a must. A good make up remover will remove your sunblock or your make up completely. A cleanser won’t. There are a few different make up remover. Cleansing oil is my favorite just because it’s so easy to use. Just use one or two pumps, rub it to your face and your make up will literally melt. Wash it off your face, use your cleanser, and it’s done. Other form of make up remover are bi-phase eye and make up remover (the one with two different layer that you’ll have to shake before use), water based make up remover like Bioderma, and cleansing balm. They’re all meant to remove make up, not cleanse the skin. So, I always follow make up remover with my cleanser. I’m currently using The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil as my make up remover.

Those are five skincare items I would recommend for newbies. The order of use are :

  • Morning skincare routine : cleanser – exfoliating toner – moisturiser – sunblock – continue with make up if you want.
  • Evening skincare routins : make up remover – cleanser – exfoliating toner – moisturiser

If you have sensitive skin, you might want to use the exfoliating toner less. Depending on your sensitivity, you may only be able to use it once a day or once every a few days. Just remember to read the instruction of use, then keep an eye on how  your skin is reacting to it. If it’s seems okay you can continue with the directed instruction, but if it’s not, reduce the usage. If it’s still not okay, stop the usage. You may want to switch to toner like Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence, which basically preps your skin before further skincare treatments like serum and moisturizer.

As you can see, The Body Shop is dominating my skincare routine, it’s mostly because that’s what I can afford. Here in Indonesia, The Body Shop is kind of the middle ground between Indonesian drugstore skincare and high-end skincare. It’s not the greatest, but it’s good enough. It’s not completely natural, but it’s got good better ingredients than most drugstore skincare we can find here in Indonesia.

I think that’s all you might need if you’re just starting with skincare (and not have specific concerns), I may write another post about other additional/optional skincare items for those who want to up their skincare game. If there’s anything you’d like to ask, please feel free to comment. If I wrote someting wrong, do comment below, I’m open to critics as long as it’s politely said. I hope this post helps!

Review & Swatch // Lipstick Queen in Sinner Coral

Lipstick Queen Sinner Coral (1 of 1)

Lipstick Queen Sinner Coral (2 of 1)

Lipstick Queen Sinner Coral (4 of 2)

So some of you might have seen the Lipstick Queen in Sinner formula appeared on my birthday wishlist post. Turns out my friend Ema bought it for my birthday present! How kind of her! She isn’t so much into make up, so she did ask me what shade I wanted. At first I wanted Pink, but then she sent me a picture of the swatch and it looked so much cooler than I thought. She then asked whether or not I wanted Coral because she thought it looked better. At first I’m concerned that it would look too similar with MAC See Sheer (It’s the one she got me last year!), but she assured me it doesn’t and so she got me Coral.

Oh, and that was like a day or two before she got back to Indonesia from her stay in Australia. So the next day after she got home, we met up and she gave it to me along with some really cute souvenirs for my sisters and my mom. Of course I was most excited about the Lipstick Queen! I go ahead and tried it on and I was surprised by how pigmented it is! I know that Lipstick Queen said it’s 90% pigment, but still I didn’t expect this level of pigmentation! It’s insane. Although it’s very pigmented, it’s actually quite easy to blend. I’m not really comfortable with a bold shade, so I just swipe a little in the center of the lips, a little in each corner of the lips, and blend it. The color, as I have expected, is quite similar with my MAC See Sheer, but it’s brighter and much more pigmented. So, no. It’s not ‘basically the same color’.

I don’t usually like matte lipsticks, but this isn’t totally matte. It has a tiny hint of shine, which I really don’t mind. I usually apply a thin layer of my Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip balm underneath this lipstick (well, all lipsticks actually!) and I either dab and blend or I swipe when I want a full on bold lips. The staying power is great. Even when I worn it sheer, I can still see some color after I eat. When worn full on, the color does fade after I eat but I’m not one to fuss with my lip color, so it’s totally fine! I have never tried wearing it without any lip balm underneath, but with a layer of lip balm, my dry lips can survive this quite matte shade very well. All in all, this is such a very nice lipstick and I’m totally going to buy more if I ever visited a place with Lipstick Queen counter!

Do you own any Lipstick Queen lipstick? What formulation and color do you like best? Do tell in the comments down below 😀

The Brush Cleaning Day

The brush cleaning day

Anyone who wears make up regularly probably has at least one brush in their arsenal. And anyone who have make up brush should know that it has to be cleaned in order to prevent bacteria from growing and moving from one make up product to another and eventually to your face, giving you breakouts. There’s several ways to clean your make up brushes, one of them is to spray some cleaning solution into the bristles of your brush and wipe it off and it’s good to go. The other is to ‘deep clean’ the brush by running the brush under tap water and shampooing the bristles until all the make up residue is gone. After that you’ll have to position the brushes horizontally (on it’s side), I usually put a towel underneath, and let it airdry in a room with no direct sunlight. I personally have never tried the first method, because one, I don’t have that much brushes, and two, I don’t want to have to buy a separate brush cleaning solution when you can cheaply buy a baby shampoo and deep clean your brush easily.

The problem with deep cleaning your brush is that you’ll have to wait for quite a while until the bristles are all dried and only after that you can use it again. It usually takes overnight for my Real Techniques brushes to be completely dry. I’m no expert about make up brushes, but I once read that brushes with synthetic hairs are faster to dry compared to brushes with natural hairs. For people who have several make up brushes intended for the same purpose may not need to worry about how long a brush will dry because they can wash one and still have another back up. But as for me, I pretty much only have one brush for one purpose, so because of that, I always try to strategically allocate the time to wash my make up brushes. Usually on a day when I know I don’t need to wear any make up.

I’ve noticed recently that Sundays seem to have become my brush cleaning day. Most likely because Sundays are lazy day for me, so I almost never wear make up on Sundays. Sometimes, I clean it in the morning when I know I won’t be going out for the day, or I clean them at night and let them airdry with the hope that it’s ready to use the next morning (they usually are). As I don’t have that much brushes, I tend to clean the most used ones all at the same time, just so I know exactly when’s the last time I cleaned them. I usually clean my synthetic brushes every one to two weeks, depending on how often I use them, but I only clean my Hakuhodo J5523 and J142 (both have natural hairs) when I feel like it’s getting very dirty and stained. These hakuhodo brushes comes with specific instruction to wipe excess products from the hairs on to a tissue paper after each use so it doesn’t need to be cleaned as often. I don’t really know why, but I think deep cleaning these kind of brushes too often will damage the hairs.

Washing your make up brushes can be a chore, especially if you have a lot of them. But I always find it very satisfying to line up a clean wet brush on top of a towel, knowing that tomorrow you’ll have shiny clean brushes to use. I find it helps to designate a particular day in a week to clean your brushes to help you keep track of when’s the last time a brush is washed.

How do you usually clean your brushes? Do you have any special day to clean them? Do share in the comments below!

Review // Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Exposed

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush Exposed

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush Exposed

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush is another product that have been so highly raved amongst the beauty community. I was never too interested in it because although the shades are gorgeous, Tarte isn’t readily available in Indonesia. I wasn’t even planning on buying this blush, really. It all started from my obsession with NARS Douceur after watching this video of the gorgeous Suzie from HelloOctober, but then again NARS isn’t readily available in Indonesia. Looking up some swatches online I see that people have been comparing NARS Douceur with Tarte Exposed and MAC Blushbaby. I have to say those three look kind of different when swatched heavily, but I think it will look more or less the same on the cheeks. Between those three, the only available brand in Indonesia is MAC, so I was ready to settle with MAC Blushbaby when suddenly I spotted Tarte Exposed stocked on preorderbymimo. And it was only IDR 310.000,00. Which is a very good deal considering the high exchange rate for dollar and shipping fee from US to Indonesia. So I grabbed it and now it’s mine. And I can’t say I have any regrets.

Onto the review, as the name suggests, Tarte claimed that this range of blushes are a fade proof and can last up to 12-Hour. Which is quite a bold claim. I didn’t really have the chance to actually test it for 12 hours, but I can safely say it stays on for quite a while. I once wore it from morning until afternoon and although it does fade, I can still see the color. The color itself is a brown-ish pink with a touch of plum. From the swatch you can see that on my medium skin it doesn’t really show up, but that’s what I’m after! It just looks so natural. The kind of blush that can be worn with just about any looks. I can imagine it looks gorgeous with either bold smoky eyes or bold lips. The texture of the blush is quite hard to the touch, but it isn’t powdery by any means. When I swipe my finger across the surface it just glides on with no fall out. I usually apply this blush using a Real Techniques Multi Task Brush which in my opinion is the perfect companion. The brush picks up just enough product and distributes it evenly on the cheeks giving it a blended natural flush. So far I’m loving it and I’ve been using it every time I wear make up. As for NARS Doceur.. I haven’t given up. The search continues…

5 Products Face ft. LORAC PRO Pallete

5 Product Face


I know I had just posted my wishlist a few days ago but I’ve got the LORAC PRO Pallete! Thank you very much to my dear sister and mother who have kindly bought it for my (early) birthday present! It’s actually meant to be given on my birthday, but when the package arrived I was home alone so I was the only one to accept it.. So, yeah! It’s early but I’m very happy nonetheless.

So we (my family and I) had a family gathering on Sunday and I decided it was the perfect time to try my new pallete. Pictured above are the products I used on my face. For the base I went for the Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation SPF 15 in Beige, a perfect light to medium coverage with natural finish. To be honest it’s the only base of choice I currently own, because my old Revlon Colorstay Whipped has gone weird. I decided to not powder my face to keep it looking fresh and I know the gathering won’t be for too long and it’s indoor anyway so no need to worry about shiny face. To give some color to my face I wore the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Exposed, a very nice neutral, slightly plummy colored blush that kind of sculpt the face giving it a hint of definition. For the eyes, of course I couldn’t wait to try the LORAC PRO Pallete. I keep it neutral as it was a day time look, patting the shade ‘Pewter‘, a very pretty shimmery plum shade on the lid and blending a bit of ‘Taupe‘ on the crease to give depth to the look. Then I went ahead and gave my lashes a generous coat of Maybelline the Falsies Waterproof Mascara. To finish the look I applied MAC Plumful to the lips, following the plum on both the eyes and the cheeks.

I have to say I’m really pleased with the result and the whole process didn’t take more than 10 minutes! So far I’m loving the LORAC PRO Pallete, I think it really is a gorgeous pallete with high quality shadows. I will try to wear it more and a review will hopefully come out soon!

The Birthday Wishlist

birthday wishlist
I was going to write a wishlist, but then I realized that it’s less than a week away to my birthday, so instead of just a regular wishlist, I thought it would be fun compile a birthday wishlist! In my opinion, there’s no right or wrong in gift giving, but I find when we give someone something that they actually want, it’s more likely for them to like it, and therefore they will use it. Always nice to see your gift being used instead of just sitting in a corner collecting dust, right? So, if you’re one of those people who might want to give me a birthday present *wink wink* pick something from here and I guarantee I’ll like it!
Ever since I got the vial sample of Chloé Eau de Parfum, I’ve fallen in love. The one pictured above is the Roses De Chloé, a very similar scent to the original with a hint of roses thrown in. Very feminine, love it, ’nuff said. Recently I wrote a post about expanding my brushes collection (link here), so pictured above is the Bobbi Brown Sheer Powder Brush and Bobbi Brown Eye Blender Brush, which I want because of Anna. The Sheer Powder Brush would be good for pigmented blushes and the eye blender will be perfect for final blending of eyeshadow. The Nixon Kensington Leather in Rose Gold/White is a reappearance from the last wishlist (link here), haven’t got it, still want it, in it goes to the wishlist. The LORAC PRO Pallete have been repeatedly said as better than any Urban Decay Naked Shadows by numerous beauty blogger/YouTuber, and I really like how they included 8 matte shadows and 8 shimmery shadows. Some of the shades are neutral enough to wear daily, but there are some shades that can be used for more dramatic look. Just the perfect pallete for any beginner eyeshadow wearer like myself. I have just recently found out that ghd is sold in Indonesia (It’s available in Galleries Lafayette at Pacific Place if you’re wondering), pictured above is the limited edition ghd Birds of Paradise. Stunning, isn’t it? ghd is a bestselling professional hair styler in the UK, lots of people swear by it. I don’t use heat on my hair often because the hair straightener that I have is simply crap, but I do have quite an unmanageable hair, so it’s always nice to have a hot tools on hand when I want to keep my hair nice and neat. Next is a Lipstick Queen Sinner in Pink. Highend lipstick has always been my guilty pleasure, and these days I’ve been eyeing this one from Lipstick Queen. The Sinner range is matte with 90% pigment. The shade that I want is Pink, which is quite a natural, my lips but better shade. When buying highend lipstick I tend to choose the color that I’ll get the most use of, and I think Pink will be just that. The last one pictured is a Fossil Bifold wallet. I have been wanting a nice little wallet to wear when I’m using a small bag. This one is perfect to house my ID card, driver license, and a bit of a cash.
Well, that’s quite a wishlist. I have also been eyeing a DSLR, particularly the Canon 600D and the new Sony Xperia Z3, but I guess those might be too much to be included in a birthday wishlist. I do realize that some of the things from my wishlist might be too expensive for a gift, but well, this is just a wishlist after all. I can throw in whatever I want because I’m not forcing anyone to gift me any of the things from my wishlist. Last but not least, there’s always a Gift Voucher if nothing up there is gift-able. The MAP Gift Voucher is very nice for gift because it can be used in so many different stores, Sephora Indonesia included!