Sunday, January 15, 2017

Etude House Harajuku Beauty haul

It's January and I'm finally starting to document my Japanese adventures from last March and April- I know it's truly shameful! It's most definitely the time to start sharing my adventures and all the magical things I encountered. The first post is a good ol' beauty haul from Etude House, a Korean beauty brand, that truly symbolises how out of the world cute (or kawaii as the Japanese would say!) Asian beauty brands are.

Etude House is a cosmetic brand that believes makeup should be playful and not simply routine, taking inspiration from the french word 'etude' which is a short musical composition, typically for one instrument, designed as an exercise to improve the technique or demonstrate the skill of the player. And so for Etude House, it's aims to be a fun, playful makeup brand that lets you have fun and experiment with makeup and reflects four basic concepts: high quality, affordability, lovely design and a diverse colour range.

Make Up

Firstly the packaging is hands down more adorable than anything you will find in a UK drugstore. Everything is designed in such a fairytale way with feminine touches such as little bow compacts to chandelier lipstick packaging. It's truly the dream of all the make up dreams. When I was planning my trip to Japan a visit to Etude House was so high on my wishlist. I had no specific products in mind, but I 100% wanted to get a selection of the prettiest things I could find!

The first thing is the gorgeous Etoinette Essence Glow Lips lipstick. Sadly I cannot find this design online but they have a ton of other gorgeous lip products you can daydream over here. I can't lie, the packaging made my heart burst with joy, and to be honest I grabbed any colour they had stock in because I loved it so much! This is definitely NOT the best way you should shop I know....(!!).....but when makeup is as whimsy and pretty as this I went a bit wild! But understandably right? ;) Anyway, let's talk formula: this is a very sheer lipstick and I love how it feels part lipstick part gloss. This will be perfect for weekend travels when I'm trying to cram makeup into a little plastic bag and I want a product to do it all.

The next product that caught my eye was this pretty face powder/veiling pact. Firstly, the illustration was just so pretty I couldn't resist it, and I love how this detail is also etched onto the compact itself. As a redhead with extremely fair skin, foundations and powders from Asia are perfect for my skin tone, so this colour matches me almost perfectly. It feels really moisturising and I love the little pad it comes with. Again, annoyingly, I can't find this design online, however any of these products will do a similar job and the designs are just as pretty. And because one powder didn't seem enough I also picked up the Zero Sebum Drying Powder because I wanted to try some of their skincare as well and I thought this would go perfectly with my other purchases (more on that below).

My final makeup purchase was one of the Lovely Cookie Blushers because well, have you seen the little poof it comes with?! All the heart emojis in person because this is just the cutest blusher ever! Again, perfect for travel because it's such a sweet size, and it has a little poof for blending (although my preference to apply is always with a brush). I picked up shade 6 which is a very pretty pinky-coral and my go-to blusher shade. It's already the best blusher I have ever, ever owned so it's not just a novelty product; this is really high performing as well.


Lotions and Potions

Asian skincare is the talk of the beauty world right now and so most of my beauty wishlist from this part of the world was of course just that. I didn't have as long as I wanted in Etude House because it was such a crazy packed schedule I was on (more about my actual trip in posts to follow) so I just again kind of grabbed things I thought were super cute which is really not sensible I know! Anyway, the first of the cute spontaneous purchases was this adorable little Panda hand cream. Yes a PANDA HAND CREAM. I adore Asia so, so much! Called 'Missing U Hand Cream' the design is available in (wait for it): a Panda (peach scent), a Dolphin (peony scent), a Seal (green tea scent) and finally a Penguin (baby powder scent).

Now I know to some a cute animal shaped hand cream might seem a bit of a gimmick, and I did honestly pick it up on a whim, but it's actually a very lovely hand cream indeed. Packed with organic olive oil and shea butter it packs a nourishing treat of lovely ingredients and it absorbs quickly into the skin. That's pretty good from any hand cream, right? It also has a lovely ethical edge because money from the sale of this project is donated to the 'Missing U Project': a project to remember and protect endangered wild animals by reminding people of those animals and donating an amount of profits to animal protection associations.

Something I really wanted to get from Japan was some SPF products because they take it really seriously in this part of the world. I picked up this Sunprise Natural Corrector spf50 because I loved the fact it had a slight tint to it that was pale enough for my skintone. I don't like wearing much facial makeup in the summer heat, it's just about making sure my skin won't burn, so this will be perfect for summer adventures. It also whitens skin with Niacinamide (I'm hoping this could help with pigmentation but I'm not sure) and it also has Adenosine to prevent ageing. To nourish the skin it's also formulated with Acai Berry, Acerola, Aloe vera to soothe the skin.

The next product is something I have wanted to try for a long time now and it's the Wonder Pore Deep Foaming Cleanser. This is such a powerful but gentle little cleanser! Everyone told me Korean skincare is the one and from this I'm certainly convinced. It's really helped to tighten my pores, leaves my skin feeling really fresh, clean and doesn't irritate it at all. My skin type is sensitive/combination so products marketed at oily skin can make it feel tight and uncomfortable but this is really lovely. In combination with the powder discussed above it gives fantastic results during the day.

The final product from my Etude House haul was this Silk Scarf Double Hair Mask which is a sample of a hair mask they sell in larger pots but I adored the packaging of this alone. It's essentially some of said mask with a shower cap housed in this adorable kitsch package! I haven't tried this yet, I can't bear to open it, but the reviews look great so I'm excited to try it out soon!

I hope you enjoyed this Etude House haul. Are you already a fan or do you now have a bit of a wishlist going on? From a price point of view it's actually very reasonable and I would say it's luxury drugstore prices. For great performing products in the prettiest packaging you've ever seen I think it's worth it indeed.

If you ever have the chance to head to a store in Asia I couldn't recommend it more! I've included a video from my Japanese travels and at about 1.20 you get a little glimpse into how adorable the store in Harajuku is. Yes, it is designed as a doll house. Like I said: I adore, adore this part of the world so much!

And so the final note before I sign off: if there's anything you love the look of in particular let me know in the comments and I will try to get a review up for you. Until my next Japanese adventures blog post: またね! 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Oh Me, Oh My Liverpool

As you will have seen from my previous blog post (after the longest blogging hiatus in general and explained again in said post!) you will see that I recently shot the Beauxoxo SS17 collection at a gorgeous location in Liverpool called 'Oh Me, Oh My', a gorgeous drinks, food and performance venue in the heart of the city centre.

'Oh Me, Oh My' is a gorgeous afternoon tea and performance event venue in the stunning surroundings of West Africa House, in a beautiful Grade II-listed Georgian building opposite from the impressive Liver Building, one of Liverpool's most famous landmarks. Whilst the name sounds ever so twee, with a hint of Gossip Girl, inside it mixes vintage, kitsch with gorgeous high ceilings, marble pillars and majestic balconies alongisde cosy sofas, reclaimed wooden furniture and art deco tiles in shades of pink, blue and yellow where vintage books sit around a 1950s Hollywood esque dressing table.

The food and drink choices matches the aesthetics perfectly with rose-lemonade (as above) paired with actual rose petals and of course an oligatory vintage style afternoon tea that we ordered for a photoshoot prop but also of course to be enjoyed as we shot the look book! Displayed on a pretty vintage cake stand with sweet, delicate bites of cake and sandwiches it was a really lovely afternoon tea with just the right amount of everything. I paired mine with a cherry blossom tea that was sublime and made me daydream back to my adventures in Japan earlier last year.

A huge thank you to my photographer for Beauxoxo Rebecca Bentliff for capturing the beautiful behind the scene photos you seen above.
Rumour has it Lady Gaga once visited 'Oh Me, Oh My' when she visited Liverpool on tour and well, if it's good enough for her it's certainly good enough for me and Beauxoxo that's for sure! I think this would also make the dreamiest location for an engagement party, a wedding or something just really special with a real touch of class and sophistication.

Oh Me, Oh My details: 

West Africa House, 
25 Water Street,
L2 0RG.

Telephone: 0151 707 7747 

Opening Hours:

Mon: 9:00am – 5:00pm 
Tue: 9:00am – 5:00pm 
Wed: 9:00am – 5:00pm 
Thu: 9:00am – 5:00pm 
Fri: 9:00am – 5:00pm 
Sat: Closed 
Sun: Closed 

Shop the Beauxoxo photoshoot looks from 'Oh Me, Oh My': 



Photography: Rebecca Bentliff
Model: Erica at La Moda Models
Make Up & Hair: Lucy MC Make Up

I hope you've fallen in love with 'Oh Me Oh My' as much as we did and let me know if any of you have already visited this secret spot in Liverpool or if you plan to. To see photos from my look book my previous blog post is here and you can also see a little video I made from my day there. 

For more information on 'Oh Me, Oh My' head here.

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