Sun Smooch

Natural lip balms are my choice for a smooth smooch as I  have a suspicion that all the synthetic ingredients can ultimately be quite drying.....Hence the constant feeling of needing to reapply frequently.

That said,  my lips suffer in the sun so the Kiss Me Moist Lips UV with SPF15++ has become a handbag essential lately.

Tinted with a sheer cherry red hue and boosted with hyaluronic acid, this has replaced lipstick over the past few weeks mainly because I can get a nice little pop of colour without using a mirror.

This is a really good quality lip balm that provides a glossy finish that leaves my lips smooth, moisturised and it even fills in lip lines so they look a little plumper. I paid about £2.00 for this in Japan so I think I have got a good deal here.

I have spotted these on Adam Beauty so if you would like to try it out, you can find them HERE.

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Strolling in Dead Space

I can never tire of long walks through the sinuous back streets of urban London. Our recent stroll took us along neglected waterways, colossal housing estates and plenty of dead space. Perhaps unappealing to many, yet very pleasing to us because of it's humanness, the way in which we collude with our surroundings is ceaselessly fascinating to us.

My outfit consists of many things handmade and many things thrifted. The shirt is a vintage Liberty and Cacharel find. The Skirt is also second hand. The bag I made myself as I did the necklace. The shoes I bought in Oasis.

| Necklace available here |
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| Everyday People | People of Mumbai vol I

Ushering you back to Mumbai where they called me "Mr. Hiro".

While I was walking around with my trusty camera in hand, I was approached by friendly citizens of Mumbai who wanted their photos taken. They don't have any vanity associated with their appearance or apparel. They just want to have their photo taken, introduce me to friends, have another photo taken....see the photos and off they go.

The boys above were sat chatting away amongst themselves till the spotted me. They then jumped off the wall to pose for a picture together.

My previous article provoked an array of emails and comments that focused mainly on the poverty seen in Mumbai. It made me think of an interview with Bob Marley:

interviewer: are you a rich man?
bob marley: when you say 'rich' what do you mean?
interviewer: do you have lots of possessions? lots of money in the bank?
bob marley: possessions make you rich? i dont have that kind of richness. my richness is life, forever.

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Liner Line-up

A regular reader of mine asked me to compare my favourite liquid liners with the Eyeko Skinny Liquid Liner in photos.

I usually buy Japanese liners as pretty much everyone that I have tried has an excellent precision tips and the pigment is fab but I am always on the look out for good reasonably priced liners that I can buy in UK. Here is the line -up: Eyeko, Dolly Wink, Dejavu Perfect Liner, La Rose de Versailles by Creer Beate,Line Queen Slim Liner by Koji and The Real Lasting Eyeliner Micro by K-Palette.

The swatches on the back of my hand are in the same order as the paper swatches above.

The Eyeko liner was a huge disappointment. I thought I had a dud one and so bought another and the same lack of anything happened again. I have quite oily eyelids and the Eyeko really struggles for me.

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Kimchee + Squid Spaghetti

I think pasta is the perfect playground for east meets west dishes. After all this is something that we have in common, sort of - spaghetti is not that far away from noodles!

Hiro and I love trying out different Japasta (Japanese Pasta) dishes but for a change we tried a K-pasta sort of thing. Here we have squid and kimchee spaghetti.

While the pasta was cooking, Hiro marinated the squid in sake for a a few minutes then fried it adding some soy and garlic. He then added the kimchee and some spring onions and mixed it into the freshly cooked spaghetti. He always saves a cupful of the pasta water before draining it all away. Adding a bit of this water into the sauce and pasta helps create a more rounded flavour so the pasta and sauce sit happier together.

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BB vs CC

Finally got around to trying an Asian CC cream! I had a couple of sample sachets of Tony Moly's Live Aura CC cream and though it leaves a slight white cast....I rather like the stuff!

You can expect a more thorough review very soon as I liked the stuff so much that I have bought an entire bottle!

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Irritating (Gentle)Men Still Exist

This was painted in 1874, astoundingly, such situations are very much still in occurrence today. 

What do you suppose the offending fellow above is saying to the nervous little lady?

If this was my corner of east London I reckon it may be something like this......"Wah gwan princess!!??"

The Irritating Gentleman - Berthold Woltze

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| Cemeteries | The High Rise Dead

I like cemeteries, and I often seek them out when on adventures. On my trip to Barcelona (earlier this year), we came across the Cementiri de Montjuic upon its hilltop perch and we stood astounded by this necropolis that is beautiful, strange and very unique all the same time.

Montjuic Cemetery houses earth graves alongside magnificent mausoleums and ornate family vaults. However, what caught my attention was the sepulchral niches that seem to me like apartments for the departed and up to 8 graves can be found atop each other.

57 acres house 152,000 dead in a silent city of modernist, neo-gothic architecture and sculpture making this a place of beautiful funerary art. Here the religious, the profane and the contemplative resonate human ambition, aspiration and emotion in stone.
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The Hydra Hype

\\ Indeed Labs' Hydraluron Moisture Booster Serum

I gave in to the hype and found myself with a tube of Indeed Labs' Hydraluron Moisture Booster.

I have been using hyaluronic acid preparations for a few years now. I habitually apply them after washing my face to stop any tightness and to provide a clean feeling light boost of moisture to my face. After a month of using the Hydraluron Moisture Booster I can honestly say that I am really unimpressed. Hydraluron is intended to "restore optimal hydration levels", but from my personal experience, using this is almost the same as not using anything at all. The serum is a clear gel that does sink into the skin quickly without leaving any sticky residue.

Sadly, I expected more from this rather pricey tube that retails at £24.99 in Boots for a small 30ml tube.

Water/Aqua/Eau, Propanediol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ahnfeltia Concinna Extract, Carbomer, Butylene Glycol, Disodium Edta, Sodium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol

Clearly I must be doing something wrong as there are plenty of happy reviews of this. Perhaps it just doesn't suit my skin type - Combination/dry/sensitive.

I have since gone back to my previous hyaluronic acid skincare routine which involves the Hada Labo range by Rohto Japan. Hada Labo is a range of skincare that has its focus on simplicity and effectiveness to provide healthy skin. Hada Labo utilises Super Hyaluronic Acid and omits  colourants, fragrance, unnecessary additives and mineral oil.

\\  Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid Gokujyun Moisturising Lotion - Moist Type

The Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid Gokujyun Moisturising Lotion is a favourite in our home, with both Hiro and I using it, we have gone through many a bottle and refill! 

Hiro uses this as a daily light moisturiser during the warmer weather and pat this into my face as a skin prep before applying moisturiser or oil throughout the year to relieve the feeling of tightness after washing. Like the Hydraluron Moisture Booster, this is also a clear gel, only as this is a lotion it is more liquid. I prefer this to the latter as it quickly relieves my skin of dryness and provides a plumped up feel to my skin that makes the application of any subsequent skincare or make up , especially BB creams a breeze. It also provides a dewy glowy boost to the skin and blurs my pores too.

A little goes a long way so the generous size lasts us months making this all the more reasonable. You can get 170ml for about £10 - £11 depending on the exchange rate (you can buy this from Adam Beauty) You can see the ingredients list HERE

1 of these lotions is sold every 4 seconds in Japan and is alcohol, fragrance, mineral  and colorant free. Available in 2 moisturising levels, "Moist Type" and "Light Type".

\\ Hada Labo UV Creamy Gel SPF50++++

The Hada Labo UV Creamy Gel came out this year and replaced the UV Moist Cream. It has been formulated with three kinds of hyaluronic acids to keep the skin moisturised. I like it because it is very lightweight and best of all.....completely and utterly transparent on the skin. 

This may not be the quickest sunscreen to absorb into the skin but I like this. I have patches of eczema on my face and this works well to appease the dry patches. It takes its time to sink into my skin but in return for a bit of patience, it provides hard-working moisturising properties that delivers a comfortable and silky smooth finish that lasts me all day.

\\ Hada Labo BB Moist Cream SPF32 +++

This is an old favourite of mine as it is good for all seasons. I flit between the two shades from winter to summer and winter again.

It has a sheer - medium (but buildable) coverage and imparts a satin like natural finish. It applies well and is very comfortable on the skin as it allows my dry sensitive skin to breathe.

Oil control is poor in the heat but then I would not recommend this for oily skin. Like most Japanese BB creams, this is fragrance free. Again this has no mineral oil which makes me very happy indeed.

You can see swatches of these BB creams HERE

Hada Labo items can be found on Adam Beauty, IchibanKao. Mihoko Shop. Imomoko.
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How to descend....

I am rather impressed with this wily solution to laziness from 1870. Why must we suffer the turmoil of descending stairs when we may merely float down the building with ease....

'Invention nouvelle pour descendre du haut d’un édifice sans le secours d’un escalier'

| Source |
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A Magical Blush Wand

I don't know about you but I love the idea of a magical wand with which you may tap your cheeks and.....TA-DA....a perfect application of blush blossoms!

Regretfully, no such thing exists! However, those fab people at Rouge Bunny Rouge have worked their special brand on magic to bring us their Blush Wand for Cheeks in Bloom.

Rouge Bunny Rouge Blush Wand in Vemeer.

Vemeer is sheer medium toned rose pink. The chubby stubby little blush stick is creamy and soft in texture which makes it a joy to apply. Even more pleasing is the lasting power, Vemeer stays put all day without oxidising providing a light flush of natural looking colour (perfect for that healthy look). The blush is build-able so a more obvious pop of colour is achievable.

Curiously fragranced with the sweet scent of fairycake icing which I would rather go without, but I suppose it is better than smelling of drains or something like that.

Rouge Bunny Rouge's Blush Wand is available in 4 different shades each created with a blend of natural oils and powders that intend to keep the skin moisturised.

I really like this blush. I have been using it through the cold and warm weather and never fail to be pleased with the results.

\\ This item was sent to me to try for review purposes \\

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Playing with Clay

I have been messing about with clay. I created a blend of polymer clays to make the macaron bag charms that I sell in my shop. They work well for bag charms as they are quite weighty and robust. However, I would like to incorporate macarons and other confections into pieces of jewellery and the polymer clay blend is far to heavy for that. I am not sure why this makes me think of Ludacris...... "my macarons are reckless feels like a patisserie is hanging from my neckless"

I digress, I have been messing about with air-dry clays to create a blend that will mimic the soft look and texture of baked items. I think I am nearly there?

There is something undeniably tactual about forming tangible shapes out of a lump of clay. 

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A Change of Scenery

Hiro insisted on taking me away from my desk, sewing machine, pliers and in fact, he took me away from the flat this weekend. It is hard for me to leave my work behind both physically and mentally but I must admit that it was very nice to wind-down with friends, so I am glad that he did. 

As it was a gloriously sun-filled weekend, we headed for Box Hill in Surrey, with a little picnic. After we had our fill of the panoramic view, we stumbled about through thickets and woodlands enjoying the company and being well away from inner-city London.

What did you get up to this weekend? Anyone watch the Murray match? :)

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Muji Organic UV Milk

I really like this sunscreen from Muji. I tend to buy Japanese sunscreens as most of them do not leave an ashy white cast on the skin. Muji's Organic UV Milk with SPF30++ is great for the body (Hiro likes to use it on his face). It sinks into the skin very quickly and leaves no greasy, dust attracting residue.

Muji's UV Milk is formulated with 8 kinds of plant extracts including aloe vera for its moisture replenishing properties. Contrary to the name, this is not a runny fluid and is more of a light cream/gel. There is a herbal scent that quickly dissipates leaving a nice matte, natural, soft finish.

I really wish that this was available in UK as it would be a certain staple in our home. Sadly it isn't but you can find it on eBay. Alternatively, if you know anyone heading to the far east....you know what to ask for!

| Muji JP  |

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The Vivid Tint

A friend sent me this in the post, I disgraced and annoyed myself by loosing it on a night out. I manically rushed and bought one on eBay (for £7.00) without a second thought and now I want more!

\\ Innisfree Vivid Tint Rouge shade #1 "Pink Dreaming"

This is an unassuming lip colour that promises the rich colour of a lipstick, the glossiness of a gloss and the tenacity of a stain.

I can honestly say that Innisfree ticked all three boxes and managed to produce something that delivers a moisture boosting formula that goes on with a vivid finish that sees me through plenty of cuppas, snacks and hours.

Like most Korean lip products that I have tried, this is scented. It smells of black grape soda, highly artificial and saccharine but I can tolerate it simply because this product is just wonderful. I am so enamoured by it that I shall probably never buy a YSL Glossy Stain again. Innisfree just knocked them out of the ball park!

Did I mention that I want more? I do! Pink Dreaming is a punchy fuchsia, a nice apricot colour is what I may like next.
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