Secret Flower Jelly Enchanted Lipstick

Secret Flower Jelly Enchanted Lipstick

Alright, this product from Kailijumei Japan has a very silly name which has probably lost a lot in translation, but look at it – a gorgeous clear lipstick with flecks of gold leaf and a tiny dried flower set inside the jelly. It smells fruity, the clear gloss transforms into varying shades of pink on your lips, depending on your body temperature, and the case is shiny gold with pearls set into the base. Who could resist?

Certainly not me, when I spotted it amongst the girlie delights on sale in the basement arcade of Lumine, Shinjuku. At more than ¥5,000 a pop it was a bit pricey, but for entertainment value worth every yen.

It feels a bit sticky going on, which together with the strong scent reminded me very much of the roll-on lip gloss we all used to wear when I was a teenager, but in a good way. The blurb seems to say that the various different lipsticks all turn into the same colour on your lips, the only difference is in the colour of the flower inside the stick. I suppose that means you only need to buy the one, which considering the price, is just as well…


Beauty Bar

A first in Singapore, this cashless automated ‘store’ dispensing cosmetics and skincare items is something of a novelty, and has been attracting quite a lot of interest at the new Downtown Gallery complex.

Touch screen displays allow you to choose the product you are after, and once you have wielded your credit card a cushioned drawer opens up to reveal your purchase. It is all incredibly efficient.

I was slightly perplexed by the whole idea at first, but it actually makes sense. If you need an emergency lipstick before that important, unexpected meeting, or you don’t finish working on those vital documents until after the shops have closed, this could be a lifesaver.

Even if it isn’t an emergency, for someone working in one of the many offices nearby, this must be a welcome opportunity to save time and trouble. A quick stop here and you can spend your lunch hour chatting with friends over a gourmet salad rather than slogging over to the centre of town and fighting the department store crowds. Yes, you could shop online with the same effect, but here you have the product in your hand immediately with no waiting for the mail or collecting missed parcels later.

The bank of screens offers a range of designer cosmetics from firms like Shiseido, Clarins and Nars, and seems to cover a comprehensive range of products. Free samples are also available once you have made a purchase, and there are assistants hovering in case of any problems. I am tempted to try this out just for the fun of it…


Man ‘Blotters’

Facial ‘blotting paper’, carefully packed into decorated folders about the size of a business card, can be found in the handbags of many Japanese women.

They provide a sort of halfway stage of freshening up before you need to actually get out your makeup and make repairs. That is, if you start to feel slightly shiny, a few dabs with one of these will usually do the trick.

What I have not seen before, however, is the male version, and I only really noticed it on the shelf because I was wondering why this particular packet held twice the number of sheets but was cheaper. Not only that, further inspection revealed the blotters are specially embossed, to absorb more and stickier sweat, all without it leaking through the paper onto your hands.

Although it is designed for men, this product is also perfectly suitable for ‘active women of metabolism’, apparently. Which is a nice way of suggesting that you might be sweating more than the delicate ladies version can cope with.

As this was packed into a small square booklet with a gold cover, and was actually called ‘Gold man’, I was a little disappointed that the pages inside were just a slightly shiny caramel colour instead of something more sparkling.

Also, my husband professed himself baffled at the suggestion that he might find them useful – he had never heard of these and saw no reason why he might ever use them.

Oh well… I suppose it’s the thought that counts.

I


Miniature Compact

There’s something very appealing about those make-up compacts you find in airport duty free shops – the ones combining everything you might need to paint your face into one handy, slim line container. Never mind the fact that half the colours don’t really suit, or it’s the wrong type of mascara…

I’ve even been known to make my own, cannibalising some existing compact or (for really short trips) pressing together a variety of different colours into one small lidded tray.

This one, though, is the tiniest, most adorable compact I have ever seen. In fact, it is so cute I cannot bring myself to use it, but simply take it out to delight over once in a while.

A cube barely 3 cm a side, it has slide out trays and manages to include 6 eye shadows, 2 lip and cheek gels plus 2 incredibly small brushes with which to apply them. Not to mention the mirror in the lid so you can see what you are doing.

I bought this in Tokyo, at the Daikanyama Minipla, and don’t regret a single yen.


Kaiten Cosmetics

You know how one of the best marketing tricks is to present you with the temptation of desirable merchandise when you are unable to get away. Think of the sweet racks beside the supermarket tills, as you queue to pay for your shopping, and the expensive treatment ampoules lined up by the mirrors at the hair salon.

Cosmetics store Sephora has taken this one fascinating step further – as you sit at the Make Up For Ever counter for a free mini makeover, presentation boxes of their new lines and best sellers glide slowly past you on a smaller version of those conveyor belts you usually see at sushi bars. (Kaitenzushi means ‘rotation’ sushi)

It’s a splendid way of introducing you to an even greater variety of possible purchases, whilst making you want to pluck them quickly from the belt before they go past and the next person gets them. I managed to resist the temptation, but I’ll bet a great many customers don’t!


Tightline Mascara

As with most new things, it takes a bit of practise before you really get the hang of this 3 in 1 eyeliner/lash primer/mascara.

The idea is to press the super thin wand along the base of your lash line, leaving enough colour there  to give an eyeliner effect, then wiggle and sweep it through your lashes for application of primer and mascara combined.

I bought this mainly because it is so small (only 2ml and less than 9cm long) and I thought it would be ideal for my travelling makeup bag – any eyeliner effect would be a bonus.

Because the wand is so thin, you need to be able to see very well close up to wield it properly. Contact lens wearers might find it easier to apply before actually putting their lenses in.

Still, I am pretty pleased with this, not least because it comes off so much more easily than the last mini mascara I bought, which coated my lashes with a plasticky film that was really hard to remove at night. I will probably continue to use my regular eyeliner under my lower lashes, but I found this made a big difference to my upper lashes. If it continues to please during my next trip, I may well be buying a spare.


Contour Trio

I do enjoy a makeup product which sets out to be fun and attractive as well as giving you a full range of (sometimes unexpected) beauty benefits.

Like this ‘InstaReady’ Contour trio BB stick from Physicians Formula, which is not just a roll up make-up stick comprising stripes of 3 different contouring colours, but contains ‘InstaFilter Technology’ for that perfect selfie. The packaging lists 12 ways this helps you ‘contour like a pro’, from defining and perfecting to oil control, blurring and light diffusion. It even has a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30.

Helpful diagrams on the back explain how you should apply this product, sweeping the stick along your cheekbones and down your nose to illuminate and accentuate your features. The highlight adds radiance, the sculpt is for warmth and the contour defines.

Although the colours of the product appear fairly strong on their own, when you apply them to your skin they give a much more subtle look. You can angle the stick if you need just the outer colours in a certain area, and it is best to use a fingertip to blend the colours together. I was very impressed with the way this worked – the stripes were very quick and easy to apply and blend, and the finished effect managed to be subtle and natural whilst also leaving a faint golden shimmer.

I can see there might be a fight over who gets to keep this product. Maybe I should have bought three!


Photo Hair Liner

This appears to have been designed purely with that perfect selfie in mind – it’s a cushion tipped powder ‘pencil’ which you can use to neaten up and define your hairline for better photos.

In a way, although this is a powder rather than the traditional paint, it reminded me of classic geisha makeup. The heart shaped hairline and all important pointed design at the nape of the neck were drawn over the white face paint to accentuate these key features, and were even more than the eyes or tiny rosebud lips.

This particular product is from Etude House and is such a curiosity, not to mention quite expensive at S$12.90, that I shall be interested to see how long it remains available.


Lip Tint Eraser

The whole point of lip tint, I am told, is that it sinks in and stays, rather than coming off on your glass (or your boyfriend) like normal lipstick does.

All well and good, until you make a mistake as you apply it – at which point it is a huge problem to remove.

Which is why daughter #2 snapped up this tube of special eraser on sight at Etude House. It’s a clear jelly and goes on rather like a lip salve, even containing shea butter to moisturise and nourish lips which are dry and flaky from overuse of lip tint.

You rub it in gently then wipe away for instant and effective removal, especially useful when the colour has strayed over your lip line. This particular product was declared a monster hit, and I expect to be mailing extra tubes to the UK fairly soon…


Pre-Makeup Mask

This seemed like a novel idea – a 1 minute mask designed for just before you start applying your makeup. Obviously it is Korean, from cosmetics firm Innisfree, and contains organic green tea water from Jeju Island.

The 3 small patches in the packet are for your forehead and cheeks, and are supposed to optimise and moisturise skin to create an ‘ideal skin condition’ for your makeup. As with all sheet type masks, you cleanse and tone first, relax whilst it is on, then pat any remaining product into your skin after removing the patches.

Daughter #2 tried this out for me before a party, and her main comment was that it added about 20 minutes to her routine without making any noticeable difference. As she is always running late (sorry, sweetie…) this was not a good thing. Maybe we will try again on another day when there is more time to appreciate it.


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