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5 Wacky but Extremely Useful Beauty Tools!

Published in: Beauty Tips, Guest Post

Wacky but useful beauty tools

Great things have been achieved with the simplest of inventions.

Like the wheel. And ink. And simple beauty tools that make life so much easier and happier. Imagine removing facial hair with a spring, pinning up your hair with Velcro, or using tape to reinforce or alter the shape of your eyelid.

Epistick Facial Hair Remover

If I were the manufacturer, I’d have named it The EPICstick! — because the results I get from this little spring are nothing short of epic. Lodged between two rubber handles is a tightly coiled metal spring that works to remove those little hairs on your upper lip, cheeks, chins, and forehead.

Epistick Facial Hair Remover

To use the Epistick, grab it at both ends, and bend it into an inverted U-shape. Then, roll it in an outward motion along the surface of your skin to remove the hair in that area. Simple instructions for one of the most amazing tools ever invented to remove facial hair.

Epistick Facial Hair Remover

The sensation is similar to threading, a little prickly, but oh-so-worth it. I find it hurts less than threading actually because how much pain you endure during threading depends on the skill of the person performing the procedure. When you do it yourself, you can always pause in between for a breather. I usually do it while watching TV to distract myself from the pain, and because, well, I don’t have to look at myself in the mirror to know where my upper lip and chin are.

Having a face clear of obvious facial hair not only makes you look fresher and cleaner, it also allows for a smoother canvas for makeup application. WE WANT!

Mascara Guard

Ever done a fantastic rainbow eyeshadow look only to ruin it by accidentally getting mascara on your lids? And do you also avoid applying mascara on your lower lashes to reduce the risk of getting the product on your under-eye area? Hell, YES to both questions!

But those sad times are a thing of the past ever since I got the Mascara Guard. This oddly-shaped piece of plastic fits the contours of the eye area so that you can apply mascara without fear of staining your eyelids and under-eyes. Because I don’t have to be as careful when I use it, it also effectively cuts down the time it takes to apply mascara on my lower lashes. I don’t like to be careful because careful takes time. The double-sided comb on the other end can also be used to comb out mascara clumps or separate individual lashes.

Mascara Guard

Mascara Guard Closeup

Mascara Guard Closeup

Hair Fringe Velcro

What do you use to pin up your hair when you apply makeup? Bobbi pins, butterfly clips, a hairband?

Me? I use this.
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5 Japanese Brands You Should Try

Published in: Makeup

Today Rowena of the delicious Cosmetic Candy Blog takes us Far East with five of her favorite Japanese makeup primers.

5 Japanese Brands You Should Try

The moment I made the transition from makeup enthusiast to junkie was the moment I discovered affordable Japanese cosmetics.

I was already in love with Hello Kitty and friendly with Kerokerokeroppi, so buying Japanese makeup seemed like a natural thing to do.

And now, a few years in, I can say that around 75% of my cosmetics collection is of Japanese origin or of brands sold primarily in Japan.

For me personally, I love the scope, the variety, the efficiency and the sheer sparkly goodness of Japanese cosmetics. I can br-br-br-break it down like this:

The packaging

Japanese packaging for Maquillage, for example, can be cute or elegant or just gadget heaven. Some brands will keep their basic packaging permanent like many Western brands do, but others will play around with the cases and lipstick tubes every couple seasons or so, keeping a fresh look and concept (Kate and Lavshuca do this often).

And I am genuinely impressed when companies think of new ways for us to apply our lipgloss other than plain sponge applicators!


You know what they say about Japanese engineering and attention to detail, right? It’s the same for the makeup. Only when I started playing with Shu Uemura did I finally find a mascara that didn’t run (and it wouldn’t come off without a fight either — “doh!”); only when I tried Shiseido Hydro Powder cream eyeshadows did I find a base that didn’t budge; and only when kitty punched me with her paw (we don’t talk about that day anymore):


I love the variety of textures available from Japanese makeup brands, especially the lipsticks and cream/liquid-based eyeshadows.

I’ve reviewed a number of cream colors on my blog here and here. These aren’t just the same old creamy textures we’ve seen so many times before. Some are water based, or light creams, thick creams, mousses, firm jellies, soft jellies…Phew!


Although some Japanese brands are ridiculously, eye wateringly expensive, my favourite ones are mid-priced to affordable (equivalent to drugstore brands). Even the brands that are sold in drugstores are extremely high quality, and in my opinion match many of the high-end Western brands in terms of pigmentation and finish.

Finally… the finish!

I find the many of the Japanese brands go for quite a shimmery, but natural look overall. This doesn’t mean that the products aren’t pigmented, but that many of them do suit being worn in quite a natural-glow-I-didn’t-even-try-hard way.

Japanese lipsticks are the best when it comes to creating a water based glossy finish, full of iridescent sparkles and glow and are never drying.

So without further ado, here are 5 brands which I think are lovely and you should try!

Jill Stuart


Jill Stuart may be better known for her fashion line, but her makeup and skincare range (exclusive to Japan) is just as good. The range stands out because its drop-dead gorgeous princessy silver packaging wins me over all the time.

Unfortunately, it’s fairly pricey at around $65 for a powder foundation and $45 for an eyeshadow quad (prices can vary a little).

Must try items: Jelly Eye color, the quads, fruit lip balm and lip lusters.



Kate is a drugstore-level brand made by Kanebo. It’s a funky, punky but pretty look, and the packaging is black and fairly basic, although they always find nice ways to present the shadow pans in the palettes. They have plenty of eyeshadow palettes, normally with 5 colours in each to play with, as well as a set of Gel eyeshadows I think are fab because they really last.

Must try items: Glam Trick Eyes palettes, Gel Eyeshadows, Gel Mascara.



MAQUillag is a medium-end makeup brand made by Shiseido, aimed at a slightly older market than Kate. MAQUillage for me oozes class and quality, and I’m very rarely disappointed by a product they make. You can buy separate pans of cream and powder eyeshadows too to put together your own palette extravaganza!

Must try items: All the lip sticks and glosses (yep, all of them!), the eye creator palette (contains 2 cream shadows and 3 powders), and I personally love the Climax Moisture Foundation Compact.

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How to Apply Liquid Foundation

Published in: Makeup Tips/How To

How to apply liquid foundation

How to apply liquid foundation

Liquid foundation is one of the ficklest products to apply. Ever. Not only is its basic application a chore, but even after you feel like you have a routine down, the smallest hiccup — anything from product buildup on your brush to a stray brush stroke — can throw off your entire look for the rest of the day.

But after years (literally, it has been that long) of trying different methods, brushes, and foundations, I think I finally have it down to a handful of simple steps that can make all the difference in the world.

1. Grab your favorite liquid foundation

Grab your favorite liquid foundation. Now, I almost always choose a full coverage one, as this method will sheer it down a bit, making it suitable for most skin types and needs. Pour or pump an amount about the size of a nickel or quarter (this will vary depending on the condition of your skin) onto the back of your hand or a palette.

2. Take a dense, flat-top brush

Take a dense, flat top brush (my favorite is the Sigma F80), and dip it into the foundation. Dot this onto your nose, the cheeks, around the borders of your face, and your chin (one dip should pick up enough product to lightly dot around all of these areas).

Sigma F80 Kabuki Brush

3. Starting at the nose…

Starting at the nose, stipple in small, tight areas, moving to the cheeks and the borders of the face, stippling product inward towards the center. Repeat this process for your chin.

This post was written by Sam

Sam Sam is a 17-year-old, oddly tall guy whose love of all things skincare, makeup, and fashion started when he entered the modeling world at 14. Since then, he’s established himself as a freelance makeup artist in the theatre and fashion worlds, and started his own blog to preach the wonders of orange eyeshadow, Asian skincare, and designer fragrances to the masses. You can also follow Sam on Twitter.

4. With what is left on the brush…

With what is left on the brush, stipple over the area above your lips and below your mouth. Avoid the area where you get smile lines for now (this will look weird, but we’ll correct this malfeasance later.

5. If you regularly use foundation under your eyes…

This next step is only if you regularly use foundation under your eyes, rather than or in conjunction with concealer. If you don’t, skip to the next step. Take a bit of foundation on the outer edge of your brush, and dot lightly under the eyes, concentrating the product at the lower inner corners where your under-eyes are darkest. Stipple lightly over this area, taking the foundation applied under the eyes up and onto the eyelid and brow bone.

6. Stipple across your forehead and into the hairline

You should have about 1/3 of the product left. Take some on your brush, and stipple it across your forehead and into the hairline (almost as bad as the jawline is a blatant change in color at your hairline, which many people tend to neglect). Your entire face should now be covered (except for the small area around your smile lines).

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How to Look Great During Childbirth

Published in: Beauty Tips, Makeup Tips/How To

This post was written by Kate
Is it possible to birth a baby and still look cute? Kate thinks so, and she shares how in today’s guest post.

How to Look Great During Childbirth

When I found out that my due date was May 1st, my first thoughts weren’t of baby blankets and onesies. All I could think about was, how am I going to avoid looking like a wet dish towel in one of those post delivery photos? — the ones that someone always manages to snap at the exact moment when you’re the most sweaty, the most tired, and the least ready to have a remotely flattering picture taken. I’m talking about that moment when after 12 hours of intense labor, the cameras start clicking like crazy!

I never really thought of myself as a particularly vain person, and I know that when the time comes, it’s supposed to be all about the baby, but I was determined to hang on to some shred of my former makeup loving self, and come out of the whole experience glowing, despite the stretch marks and imminent hemorrhoids.

About a month before my due date, I became the lone pregnant lady haunting the aisles of my local Sephora. I rarely took a friend on these occasions, mainly because I could not have any distractions from what I saw as my personal mission. I was determined to put together a look that could withstand whatever curveball Mother Nature decided to throw my way, be it C-section or 24 hours of labor. Whatever happened to be going on below my neck, I was hellbent on keeping what was above it well controlled and looking its best. I needed the makeup equivalent of an Earthquake Prevention Kit.

I decided that my best course of action was to treat my baby’s delivery like a really long and painful spinning class. I knew to expect a lot of huffing and puffing, and most of all, a lot of sweat. That meant that I needed a face that was waterproof and sweatproof. I wanted to strike a balance between no makeup and being a Real Housewife of Beverly Hills. To me, that meant glowy and flushed, not sculpted and painted. Even if I spent whole days in oatmeal splattered pajama pants and my husband’s wife beater remembering the days when I could count on a morning shower, I would feel secure in the knowledge that I didn’t go down without a fight.
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Skip the Salon, and Trim Your Layers at Home

Published in: Hair

Written by Sophie

Today Sophie of Soof the Geek shares a fast, easy and affordable way to trim your hair’s layers at home.

I wanted to show you guys how to thin your hair out and soften your layers at home — all with a simple disposable razor blade! First of all, I’d not recommend this to you girls with curly or thin hair. Slicing thin hair or hair that isn’t straight can be tricky. It will take too much off, so please don’t try this yourself, and go to a hair salon instead.

How did I come up with this trick? The last time I went to a hair salon they unfortunately took a very “creative” route, and I ended up having choppy layers that needed a lot of styling… That’s something I don’t have time for, and later when I was browsing YouTube a video caught my eye. In it this guy was styling his hair with a razor blade he got at a hair salon, and I figured that if he could do it, so could I. So let’s begin!

What you’ll need:

  • A *new* disposable razor
  • A hairbrush

First, brush your hair through very, very thoroughly. You don’t want any knots or kinks, or the razor will take off that entire section! If your hair isn’t straight yet, you should straighten it now.

Next, stand in front of a mirror, and take about a 1-2 inch section of hair in your hand, keeping it apart from the rest of your hair.
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