Colourpop BYOP Haul and Review: May 2019

Hey, all!

Today’s post is an exciting one because I finally order my first ever Colourpop BYOP palette! Yeay!!

I always wanted a face palette because I travel quite often and bringing my face makeup all in one palette can save so much time in packing and so much space in my travel makeup bag. There are so many face palette in the market of course, but the idea of being able to design my own palette or put together all the shades that really suit my skin tone or my preference is really appealing to me. And that’s why I’ve been eyeing this BYOP palette for a long time.

PS: stay tuned until the end to get a 20% off discount code to shop on Colourpop website (NOT A CLICK BAIT)

What is BYOP?

First of all, I want to give general information about what BYOP is. So, if you don’t know what it is, or if you know about it already but want to know more why it’s so recommended to buy it, I’ll give you general information about it here! But, if you know all the detail about it already, you can just skip to the next section, which are my swatches, haul, and review section!

BYOP stands for ‘Build Your Own Palette’. Just like its name, you can make your own palette that consists of several selections of products that you can choose by yourself, and an empty magnetic palette to store the products you’ve chosen. The products could be pressed shadow singles, pressed cheek powder singles (including setting powders, bronzers, highlighters, and blushes), or combination of them. Here are some arrangements CP offers on their website.

BYOP selections

Here are the normal price of every BYOP products individually:
Single shadows: USD 4
Setting powder: USD 8 (pan only) and USD 9 (with compact)
Bronzer, blush, highlighter: USD 7 (pan only)
Magnetic empty palette: USD 10

Technically, BYOP is always available on CP website, but not the BYOP SALE. The BYOP itself without the SALE has already reduce the price of all the products together. As you can see from the picture above, the total price of 6 cheek products plus 1 empty palette should be 6 x 7 + 10 = USD 52, but if you buy them from BYOP section on CP website, the price became USD 38. BUT! During the BYOP SALE, the price is even cheaper. That USD 38 becomes USD 30 (see picture below). That’s why if you really want the BYOP, you better snatch it during the BYOP SALE.

BYOP during SALE

Haul

As I mentioned before, I always wanted a face palette, and CP BYOP has been in my wish list for a long time, but I couldn’t pick it up because of my low-buy rules. And actually, according to my rules that I made myself, I can only buy new products on June. But, when CP finally had the BYOP SALE on May, and especially with the empty palette design that I really want (the pink desert palette, see picture above), and at the same time they also had a 20% off their Disney collection products PLUS 40% off their super shock products, I decided to finally break my 4 months of no-buy and place my order of BYOP and some other things that were on sale at that time.

The pink desert palette that I really want

The first things I picked up were from Colourpop x Disney Villains collection, which were the ‘Maleficent’ creme lux lipstick and Maleficent highlighter (called ‘Mistress of All Evil’). Not that I’m a big fan of Maleficent, it’s just because I like CP creme lux lipstick, and from all creme lux lipstick in this collection, only this color I don’t have in my collection. And I picked up this highlighter just because I like the shade the most among other highlighter in this collection.

Maleficent lipstick and highlight

The next things I picked up were from 40% off super shock products, I picked up two 2019 Spring collection blushes, which were ‘Growth Flirt’ and ‘Get Leid’, and one super shock shadow, which was ‘Sequin’. The super shock shadow came broken, but fortunately since it’s in super shock formula, I can re-press it without problem.

Broken ‘Sequin’ super shock shadow
Swatch of ‘Sequin’. Left: sheer swatch. Right: packed swatch.

The next two things I picked were not on sale, they were ‘Ur Thriving’ creme lux lipstick from Spring 2019 collection and ‘Mesmerize’ blur lux lipstick.

‘Ur Thriving’ lipstick, ‘Growth Flirt’ blush (left), ‘Get Leid’ blush (right)
Swatch of ‘Mesmerize’. This color is such a neutral muted pink. Really love it!

I also got an ultra matte lip in the shade ‘Monday’ because they sent my order a little bit late.

Ultra Matte Lip in ‘Monday’ as freebie.
Swatch of ‘Monday’. The color is pretty neutral, but the formula is too dry for my liking.

And finally, for the BYOP itself, I picked up the 6 cheeks palette that consists of 1 highlighter in the shade ‘Made Me Do It’, 2 bronzers in the shades ‘Private Party’ and ‘Spectacle’, and 3 blushes in the shades ‘To The 10’, ‘Tick’, and ‘Parakeet’.

My BYOP 6 cheeks palette!

BYOP Swatches and Review

Here are the swatches of my BYOP:

Swatch of my BYOP palette

‘Made Me Do It’ is a champagne pink highlighter. When swatched on hand, the pink is visible, but when applied on the face using a brush, actually the pink is very subtle and the champagne is more dominant. I like that the highlight is not glittery at all. It just gives a very natural sheen. And for me who usually go for a matte finish for my makeup look, I feel like my skin looks more dewy (but not greasy) when wearing this highlighter.

‘Private Party’ is a satin bronzer which I never even think of trying before. But, when I heard Kathleen Lights raves so much about it, I thought I want to give it a try. And I’m not disappointed AT ALL! It’s so pretty and gives natural-looking sculpt to my face. I can’t stop wearing it every time I do my makeup. I can even wear it alone without blushes. But be careful when applying it because it’s so pigmented. A little really goes a long way.

‘Spectacle’ is a light brown bronzer. So as I use ‘Private Party’ as a bronzer, I think I need one cool-toned bronzer as a contour in my palette because I do contour my nose and my cheeks. This bronzer is a little bit light for my liking and my skin tone but it still works fine. And for your reference, I use Colourpop No Filter Stix foundation in 81N and concealer in Medium 26. So if you have deeper skin tone than me, I think it won’t show up on your skin.

‘To The 10’ is a neutral warm pink blush. I love neutral tone pink so picked this one up. It’s the most natural blush shade in this palette and it has matte finish. This will be my go-to when I just want a slight flush on my cheeks.

‘Tick’ is a soft orange blush and it has satin finish. I picked this to give a different shade and finish on my palette.

‘Parakeet’ is a bright warm pink blush with matte finish. It’s so pigmented so you have to go light hand when applying it. The other two blushes I picked up here are not as pigmented as this one, so the first time I tried this on my cheek, I almost ended up with a red face. Fortunately it blended out nicely so I could still save my look that day!

20% Discount Code

This is what I promised you guys. I have a referral link so that you can get 20% off your FIRST purchase only. This is not an affiliate code but I will get also 20% off my next purchase if you use this link to make your FIRST EVER purchase with CP. So it’s a win win for us!

https://www.talkable.com/x/boSyX0

This code (as far as I’m aware) is applied for all Colourpop’s products including new arrivals. So it’s a very good deal! Please feel free to use it or not. I really appreciate if you decided to use my referral link to make your purchase! ^^

Final Thoughts

That’s all my review about my BYOP palette. I had fun choosing the shades and I’m glad that I have everything I want in one palette. From a highlighter, satin warm bronzer, matte cool contour, matte natural pink blush, satin more orangey blush, and finally a matte bright pink blush. I was actually considering to pick up a setting powder, but I still have so many powder I want to finish, so I decided not to pick it up (for now).

What do you guys think about my haul? Will you be getting your own BYOP? What shades really call your name? Please tell me on the comments below!

I’ll see you next time!

Advertisements

Best Japanese Drugstore Beauty Products

Hey, all!

As I mentioned several times in this blog, although now I live in Indonesia, I once lived in Japan for 3 years from 2013-2016. During that time, I, of course, used Japanese drugstore beauty products a lot. And by doing so, I found several gems that I keep re-purchasing even though now I’ve returned to my country.

So I thought today I want to share with you my own Japanese drugstore beauty products recommendations in case you are traveling to Japan but not sure what to get. Or maybe you are just moved to Japan and not sure where to start since Japanese drugstores are quite huge and potentially overwhelming since everything is written in Japanese!

So if you are interested in, just keep on reading!

Skin Care

Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence

I can safely say that this is the best drugstore sunscreen I’ve ever tried in my whole life (and believe me when I say it, I tried quite a lot!). It’s super affordable, non-greasy, and quickly melt into the skin the second it’s applied. It does have fresh scent but not too overpowering. And I even feel like it adds adherence to my skin so that my makeup sticks better onto my skin when I’m using this sunscreen.

I don’t have any plan to try a new sunscreen anytime soon since I haven’t heard anything that’s close match to this one. If you could get your hands on this, I highly recommend you to try it out. And since Biore is a quite globally known brand, I’m pretty sure you can get this not only in Japan but maybe also in your country, too (it’s sold in select Indonesian drugstores, by the way).

Cure Natural Aqua Gel

Natural Aqua Gel Cure is a remarkable skin care product. Cure is a fragrance-free, color free and preservative free product made from activated hydrogen water that prevents oxidation. General chemical peeling uses strong acids (approx. pH1.3) to dissolve protein. Cure, on the other hand, gently catches dead skin cells on the surface of the skin and removes it.

citated from https://cureaquagel.com/

This one is I think maybe one of the most unique products Japanese drugstore has. It’s not a cleanser, not a facial wash, not a scrub, it’s an exfoliator in a form of gel. The texture it’s like gel but more liquid-y or watery, not as thick as man’s hair gel, for example. I’ve also mentioned it briefly on my post about my skin care routine.

It’s meant to be used only twice a week because it’s an exfoliator. I use it after I double-cleanse my skin or basically after I make sure there’s no makeup left on my face. To use it, you just have to take 1 pump of it on your palm, and then massage it all over your face like when you use your scrub. While doing that, just like its claim, you will find it catches your dead skin cells and removes it. I feel my skin is very soft and clear after using it.

Kanebo Suisai Beauty Clear Powder

suisai Beauty Clear Powder face wash is catching the eye of the worldwide audience with an enzyme-activated formula that whisks away impurities and unclogs pores as it protects the skin’s natural moisture. A popular choice for tourists who desire the Japanese secret to even, finely textured skin.

citated from https://www.kanebo.com/brands/suisai/

If you can’t already guess what this is, this is a facial wash in the form of powder. One small jar contains the powder is for one single usage. To use it, you just mix it with water. Adjust the amount of water according to how scrubby you want it to be. The more water you add, the less scrubby it is, and vice versa.

After using it, my skin feels so clean as if all the dirt has been taken off without making my face feels tight. It’s not very expensive, but here in Indonesia, it’s not sold in drugstores, but only in online shop run by personal shoppers so the price becomes quite expensive. So I can only buy it by asking my friends who are still living in Japan to help me buy it when they will have a short vacation to Indonesia. Since it happens only maybe once or twice a year, I use this fairly rarely.

If you can find it with reasonable price, I highly recommend you to incorporate this in your daily skin care routine!

Purequa Face Wipes

Actually, Japanese drugstores offer wide variety of face wipes, but I really love this particular one. It’s really soft on the skin so you won’t feel you rub your skin too hard. It’s really effective in removing our makeup as the first step of our skin care routine. According to my experience, it can also removes my waterproof eyeliner and mascara!

Makeup

Mote Liner

This one is really hyped up by many Asian beauty bloggers/ vloggers and after trying it, I agree with the hype. The tip is not a felt tip but it’s a very fine little brush that can bend. I personally like this type of tip because it makes applying liners so much easier. I’m in no way expert in applying liner, so I think this one is also very beginner-friendly!

Please note that the one that I have here is actually a limited-edition navy blue. They have other options too such as brown (also limited-edition) and of course black (permanent line)! Even though this one is navy blue, if you look it not too close up on my face, it doesn’t really look like I’m wearing a blue eye liner because it’s pretty dark. I enjoy wearing it so much lately!

Canmake Cream Cheeks

First of all, I found that many Japanese drugstore makeup products are too sheer for my skin tone or even my liking. Be it blushes, contours/ bronzers, lip products, etc. That’s because the nature of Japanese daily makeup style itself is usually a no-makeup makeup look. BUT! These particular blushes are exception! They are available in many different shades and formula so you will have some options there. Besides that, Canmake as a brand in general has other interesting products and it’s one of the most affordable in Japanese drugstore! I highly recommend you to check their other products also!

Miscellaneous

Megrythm Steam Eye Mask

I never knew this was a thing before I found it in Japanese drugstore. It’s an eye mask that releases steam that’s supposed to help us relaxing our eyes after a tiring busy day. Try to wear it before bed after a nice warm shower or bath!

‘Ashirira Sheet’ Detox Foot Patch

‘Ashirira’ is an acronym of ‘ashi’ which means ‘foot’ in Japanese and ‘rira’ which was taken from English word ‘relax’ that is read as ‘rirakusu’ in Japanese. This product is a pair of patches or sheets that you stick onto your soles before you go to bed and leave it until you wake up. The next day when you take it off, it’s supposed to absorb all toxic from your body. There are actually some debates surrounding this product. Some says it’s gimmicky and not doing what it claims. Some says it works. I think if we want to proof whether it works or not, we have to scientifically test it in a lab. I personally like wearing it but don’t feel significant changes just by using it daily (which I don’t). But I still think it’s nice to have and recommend you to try it out!

Honorable Mention

Shiseido Senka Perfect Whip

image courtesy: sociolla.com

I actually don’t have this with me right now but I used to use it when I lived in Japan. It’s a very light-weight and gentle facial wash. It cleans but doesn’t feel tight on the skin. It’s available here in Indonesia but I didn’t repurchase it because I’m currently enjoying my Cetaphil facial wash. If you live in Japan and need one that I recommend, it’s this one! It’s one of the most affordable also!

Lululun Sheet Masks

I think I only used it once but I remember liking it, and I know many peple are hyping this sheet masks so much. They have several options such as: hydrating, brightening, and balancing. I also didn’t repurchase it by now because to be honest, I like my Etude House sheet masks more because I feel the Etude House ones fit my face’s size better!

image courtesy: allabout-japan.com

That’s all my Japanese drugstore beauty products recommendation! I hope it helps you in sorting out your list to buy while you’re in Japan. Ah..writing this brings back all good memories and makes me miss Japan even more! I wish I could go back someday even just for several days!

What are products that most intriguing to you? Do you find your wish list here? And do you like if I write more about Japan’s related recommendation? Like for example unusual traveling spots recommendation? Or supermarket recommendation? Please tell me on comment section below!

See you on my next post!

Colourpop 2019 Birthday Collection: Buy or Bye

image courtesy: colourpop

Hey, all!

Today’s post is another episode of my Buy or Bye series where I talk about recently-released full makeup collection and discuss whether it’s worth a purchase or not. At first I didn’t plan to make this a series in my blog, but from time to time, I find some full collections worth to discuss! I wrote one before, which was the Zoella x Colourpop collection. As they are still available now on Colourpop (CP) website, do check that link if you want to know more about my thoughts on that collection.

This month, May, Colourpop, the so-called brand that never sleeps, is celebrating their 5th birthday. CP has been releasing a bunch of new stuffs and drops many sales every other week, so of course this month is no different, especially since it’s their birthday month. According to their tradition, they always released a full huge collection as well as one special super shock shadow that is limited edition and comes as freebie for every purchase.

By the time I wrote this post, I actually have placed my order, so I’ll tell you what I got!

Ok, without further ado, let’s dive right into the post!

PS: stay tuned until the end to get a 20% off discount code to shop on Colourpop website (NOT A CLICK BAIT)

Full collection

Since this is their Birthday Collection, of course everything must be so special. Not only it’s a HUGE collection, the main theme of this collection is also not disappointing (at least for me!). The theme of this collection is watermelon. Every items here are designed and named accordingly. The graphic design of the packaging is so cute, and you know I’m a sucker for a cute packaging. If I had unlimited amount money, I’d probably have bought everything just because of the packaging! ><

image courtesy: colourpop

The full collection consists of following items:

Main Squeeze eye shadow palette: USD 12
Best Served Chilled bundle: USD 24
Three liquid lipstick duos: USD 12 each
Melonade ultra matte lip: USD 7
Big Slice so juicy plumping gloss: USD 7
Three Supernova shadow and Mini Gliterally Obsessed duos: USD 12 each
Mini Gliterally Obsessed trio: USD 12
Two Full size of Gliterally Obsessed: USD 8 each
Birthday Treat super shock shadow: free with any purchase while stock lasts

Now, let’s break it down one by one!

Main Squeeze Eye Shadow Palette

In every CP releases, of course the eye shadow palette is the star of the collection. This palette is meant to be a red monochromatic palette, and it’s an addition of their currently existing monochromatic palettes, such as Brown Sugar, Ooh La La, It’s My Pleasure, and Just My Luck.

image courtesy: colourpop

Apparently, this was a highly requested monochromatic palette, and I was actually one of them who requested a red palette, so I’m not complaining. I love red, and I personally don’t have anything like this in my collection. I’m currently liking the 9-pan palette as I can create a quick look without having to think much. Since this one is right up my alley, this is the first item from this collection that I know I’ll pick up!

image courtesy: colourpop

However, after looking some swatches and reviews online, I must admit that a lot of the shades in this palette are somewhat ended up looking so similar once applied on the eyes. It’s also lacking in depth. There is no light enough or deep enough shade. If you look this palette as a whole, it’s full of medium and transitional shades only. The darkest shade which is the one on bottom right corner (“red bottoms”) could’ve been even deeper. And I can’t tell which one is the lightest shade, the 1st one (“frose”), or the 6th one (“big gulp”)?

Aside from that, some also mentioned that since it’s a watermelon themed palette, there should be a green, creme, and black shades. I personally don’t mind the fact that even though they claimed it to be a watermelon palette, it’s only consists of red colors. I’m sure they want to add this palette to the monochromatic palettes family without having to release another red-only palette.

With that being said, I did pick up this palette! This is my favorite item from this collection, the packaging is stunning, and the fact that it’s a 9-pan palette is also practical. I can’t wait to create all-red looks using it!

Best Served Chilled Bundle

This bundle is a collaboration with CP sister skincare brand, Fourth Ray Beauty (FRB). It consists of Watermelon Face Milk, Watermelon Seed Oil, and Watermelon flavored Lippie Scrub. Watermelon Seed Oil is previously existing product from FRB, while Watermelon Face Milk is a new one, and Watermelon flavored Lippie Scrub is also a new product from CP’s Lippie Scrub line. By the way if you’re wondering, Watermelon Face Milk is a light weight moisturizer that’s supposed to be hydrating but non-greasy.

image courtesy: colourpop

I’ve been wanting to try FRB products and CP lippie scrubs, but since I’m on a low buy year, I can’t just buy them whenever I want. I have to follow my low buy budget and schedule (PS: you can read my low buy rules here). So, when I saw that CP offers this bundle, which include literally everything I’ve been eyeing, I know I want to pick up this bundle. Additionally, from swatches and reviews I saw online, many people seems liking this bundle also.

This bundle retails for USD 24, while the actual total price of three of the items is USD 26, so we’re not really saving a lot of money by buying them in a bundle.

image courtesy: colourpop

I was actually a little bit iffy to buy liquid products internationally because I’ve read from several bloggers who ordered FRB stuffs that their stuffs came leaking (I read from my friend AlwaysCleia and PolishedAndInspired). I wish that they are sold individually so that I can pick up only the lippie scrub which doesn’t have high risk of leaking. But, since I’ve been wanting to try FRB products for a long time, I decided to pick up this bundle and just hoping for the best that there won’t be any spills during the shipping! ><

Liquid Lipsticks Bundles

There are so many liquid lip products within this collection and I like it since it’s very suitable with the theme. The three liquid lip bundles are: Sweet Crush, Slice of Life, and Our of Your Rind.

image courtesy: colourpop

Let’s talk about them one by one!

Slice of Life

image courtesy: colourpop

This bundle consists of one ultra glossy lip (UGL) in “Fresco” and one ultra BLOTTED lip (UBL) in “Swing Away”.

image courtesy: colourpop

It’s been a long time since CP released a new shade of ultra blotted lip so I’m very excited to try it. But I’m actually not a glosses type of girl. I like lip products that are pigmented and not sticky. If they were sold individually, I would’ve pick up only the UBL. But since they are only available in bundle (as of now), and luckily the UGL here is the only one that actually has color in it among the three bundles, I decided to pick up this bundle. I don’t hate glosses so I will just wear it from time to time.

Sweet Crush

image courtesy: colourpop

This bundle consists of one UGL in “Granita” and one ultra MATTE lip (UML) in “Sherbert Shop”.

I actually really like Sherbert Shop, it’s the type of lip color I like to wear. But since it’s only sold in a bundle, and I rarely wear glosses especially clear glosses, I decided not to pick up this bundle. Were they sold individually, I think I might’ve picked up only the UBL from previous bundle and the UML from this bundle.

Out of Your Rind

image courtesy: colourpop

This bundle consists of one UGL in “Scorcher” and one UML in “On The Grill”.

I don’t wear a lot of hot pink or fuchsia matte lippies because I find it too “in-your-face”. If the shade On The Grill was in UBL formula, I don’t mind it since UBL looks more muted than UML. I also rarely wear glosses, so this bundle is a pass from me. But I still think it’s a pretty color. I just hope it was in different formula.

Melonade Ultra Matte Lip

image courtesy: colourpop

I actually can’t justify why they include a single UML with only one shade option. I really like the color, tho, it’s right up my alley. But if they want to include a single item, there is one item I think is better than one shade of UML. They should’ve included a true red loose pigment! It much more makes sense to include a single loose pigment than a single UML that’s already available in bundles, too. But this is only my suggestion, I’m sure they had their own justification.

Honestly, if all of the items here were available as singles, I think the ones I picked up would be the watermelon lippie scrub, UBL in Swing Away, UML in Sherbert Shop, and this one. Since I have limited budget, I decided not to pick this one up, although I really really want to pick it up also πŸ˜₯

Big Slice So Juicy Plumping Gloss

image courtesy: colourpop

As I mentioned before, I don’t usually wear glosses, let alone a thicker one like this. I personally think the color is pretty and really suits the theme. I actually considered to pick this up because I think this time might be a good time to try this plumping glosses. But since I have a limited budget, this one didn’t make the cut.

Supernova Shadow and Mini Gliterally Obsessed Duos

It’s been a long time since CP released new shades of supernova shadow. The last time was in their collaboration with Zoella. I never tried a supernova shadow before, so I can’t say much about it. I imagine it’s just like a usual liquid shadow.

Gilterally obsessed (GO) is not a new product, but this time they released it in a mini size which I think is a clever idea! The full size is 15 g/ 0.53 oz and retails for USD 7.5. The mini is 3 g/ 0.11 oz, and if we break it down from this bundle, since supernova shadow retails for USD 8, this GO mini’s value is around USD 4.5. If you wanted to try it since before but not quite ready to commit to a full size, this could be your chance. But you might want to keep in mind that you pay around half of full size price with the amount of 1/5. Of course we can’t always value a product based on their weight only since there’s also packaging that contributes to the price. But I think I just want to mention this in case it helps you decide on whether to buy the mini or not.

There are three of these duos, they are Dear Summer, Sandia Smash, and Slip N’ Slide.

image courtesy: colourpop

Dear Summer

image courtesy: colourpop

This bundle consists of “Wish Me Luck” GO and “Sand Castle” supernova shadow. Wish Me Luck is an existing GO shade but Sand Castle is a new one.

I was actually intrigued to try this since I never tried a supernova shadow and GO before. But I need to consider whether I will get a lot of use out of it. On daily bases when I go outside, I wear hijab and my whole body is covered except my face and my palms. On the other hand, GO is intended to use on the body or maybe face except the eye area. However, there’s not many part of my body that is shown. The highest possibility is only to use it around my face or my eyes (which is not safe). But I can’t justify going to a mall wearing glitter on my face XD. So although I like the shades of this supernova and actually don’t mind wearing glitter, I don’t think I can get many use out of it. So I decided to pass on this bundle (and also any glitter products within this collection).

Speaking about the bundle itself, I think the shade of supernova shadow in this one is the most consistent within this whole collection, which is around red and coral color family. The other two bundles are too pink-y and purple-y, which I think a little off to be paired with the palette if you want to wear them together.

Sandia Smash

image courtesy: colourpop

This bundle consists of “Avenue of The Stars” GO, which also an existing GO shade, and “Ice Pop” supernova shadow, which is a new one. I actually really like the glitter since it’s very colorful, and I do think the supernova shadow’s shade is also pretty, and the overall shade of both of them quite matches. But again, since I won’t be wearing them a lot, I decided to pass on this one.

Slip N’ Slide

image courtesy: colourpop

This bundle consists of “Disco Lady” GO, which also an existing GO shade, and “Hazy” supernova shadow, which is a new one. Among the three bundles, I think the supernova shadow in this one doesn’t quite match the theme. It’s still a pretty shade, so if you like the shade alone without considering the whole theme in this collection, I’m sure you’ll be happy to have it! I also passed this one with the same reasoning as I mentioned above.

Mini Glitterally Obsessed Trio

image courtesy: colourpop

This trio consists of three mini GO retails for 12 USD. Each of them is 3 g/ 0.11 oz and if we break it down from the bundle’s price, each would be USD 4. The shades are “Starfire”, “Star Party”, and “Keep it Plutonic”, which all of them are existing shade. If you don’t want the supernova shadow bundle, you can have this instead. I myself didn’t pick this one up.

Full Sized Gliterally Obsessed

image courtesy: colourpop

There are two new GO shades in this collection which are “Trippin on Skies” (the left one from image above) and “Bring The Heat” (the right one from image above). They are just like typical CP GO that has been released before. I can’t say much about it since I never tried any of them. I also passed on this one.

Free Birthday Super Shock Shadow

image courtesy: colourpop

Just like CP’s previous birthday celebration, they give this super shock shadow (SSS) as a freebie with every purchase made during the birthday period. I love SSS and this color is perfect for this collection. I obviously get it for free with my purchase and can’t wait to play around with it!

Additional Bundles

Besides the ones mentioned above, CP also offer some additional bundles. The first one is “Birthday Bash” which consists of four previous birthday-special SSS retails for USD 20.

Birthday Bash bundle, image courtesy: colourpop

I didn’t pick this up because I have limited budget and for this purchase, I decided to pick up products I never tried before such as FRB stuffs, lippie scrub, and UBL, so this one didn’t make the cut. But now I’m kinda regretting myself by not picking this one up. They are special SSS and not sold in singles anymore so I should have pick this up to complete my collection. Now I only hope they make this bundle a permanent so I can pick it up a little bit later πŸ˜₯

The next bundle is “Sweetest Fling” which consists of Main Squeeze palette, Melonade UML, and Big Slice Plumping Gloss. This one retails for USD 26, which actually doesn’t save any money.

image courtesy: colourpop

The next bundle is “In Season” which consists of Main Squeeze palette, Best O liner, and Get Paid liner retails for USD 20. I actually considered to pick this up since it saves USD 3. But after considering the liners included here, I think I don’t really want them at the moment.

image courtesy: colourpop

Overall Thoughts

So that is it guys my thoughts about CP 2019 birthday collection. The ones I picked up are Main Squeeze palette, Best Served Chilled bundle, Slice of Life bundle, and Birthday Treat SSS. Overall, I really love the theme and in my opinion they executed it well with the selection of products, the graphic design, and the product/ shade names. There are some elements that could’ve been better, such as a wider range of reds in the palette, adding another type of product outside the bundle instead of one single shade of UML, and selling the products individually so that we could choose them more freely. In the end, I am still happy with my purchase and can’t wait to play around with it!

20% Discount Code

This is what I promised you guys. I have a referral link so that you can get 20% off your FIRST purchase only. This is not an affiliate code but I will get also 20% off my next purchase if you use this link to make your FIRST EVER purchase with CP. So it’s a win win for us!

https://www.talkable.com/x/boSyX0

This code (as far as I’m aware) is applied for all Colourpop’s products including new arrivals. So it’s a very good deal! Please feel free to use it or not. I really appreciate if you decided to use my referral link to make your purchase! ^^

image courtesy: colourpop

That’s all for today’s post! Now let me know what you think about this collection. Did you pick anything up? Which is your most favorite product? Or did you completely skip this collection? Please comment below!

I’ll see you on my next post!

Ramadan Culture that Confuses Non Muslims

Hey, everyone!

It feels like years since the last time I posted on this blog, while actually it’s only been two weeks! As I mentioned on this post, it’s a little bit hard for me to keep my old schedule to write blog posts since I got a new job. It’s actually even worse now because a relative who stays in my house and helps me take care of my son while I’m working went to her hometown for Ramadan and Eid (biggest Muslim celebration in a year). So basically I will be a single fighter until after Eid. Thank goodness my mom lives in nearby city so she will come help me every couple days in a week. That’s why I took a break from writing for two weeks just to let my self ‘breathe’ a little bit amidst this whole situation.

Speaking about Ramadan and Eid, last week’s Sunday evening (May 5th, 2019) marked the start of Ramadan month this year according to Islamic calendar. If you don’t know what Ramadan is, I found this article from Google where you can read simple and short but clear explanation about Ramadan. Ramadan month lasts for 30 days, and after that, we, Muslims, will have Eid al-Fitr celebration that usually takes up to one week long. So when I said my relative who helps me take care of my son is in a long holiday for Ramadan and Eid, it means I have to juggle between my son, my teaching job, and this blog all alone for around 5 weeks. I actually don’t know how I can handle that so if you’re a busy mom like me, please give me some advice!

In today’s post, since we are in the topic already, I thought I want to share with you my Ramadan experience among many people from different nations and ethnicity during my stay in Japan for three years. As Japan is a Muslim-minority country, not many people (Japanese or other non-Muslim foreigners who live in Japan) are aware about Ramadan’s customs. So I thought it would be interesting to share what non-Muslims think about Ramadan according to my experience. I hope you don’t mind that I take you to a trip down my memory lane so that you will get to know me little by little!

Now, let’s get started!

No Eating and Drinking During The Day

While non-Muslims in Indonesia (as Muslim-majority country) are aware about what Muslims do during Ramadan, that’s not the case for my Japanese and foreigner friends in Japan. When they first heard about Ramadan and came to realize that I won’t be eating and drinking during the day for a WHOLE month, they were shook!

“Won’t you be dead if you aren’t drinking and eating for more than 10 hours?” was the most common question I got from my friends. The fact is, we won’t (in God’s will). Our body can hold up to three weeks without food and up to four days without water (according to this article). So don’t worry, 12 hour-ish without food and water is doable!

The fact is, we must not drink and eat (or simply called ‘fast’) from sunrise until sunset, so the time will be different around the globe. In Indonesia, since we are near equator, we are so lucky to have similar hour-long between day and night. But during my stay in Japan, Ramadan always occurred in summer, so the day was longer than the night. At that time, I had to fast for about 17 hours. But I know it wasn’t the hardest fast known. In other countries, they have to fast for nearly 20 hours.

The next common question I got was, “Why would you sacrifice yourself like that just because your religion told you to do so?” First thing first, ‘fasting’ not only about ‘not drinking and eating’ only, but also about ‘abstaining our self from humanity desire or pleasure, such as sex, swearing, arguing, or smoking’ because this month is a special month for worshiping and getting closer to God. The fact is, personally, because I’m used to do it since I was a kid, I don’t feel any pressure to do it, but i must admit that fasting 17 hours in Japan was much harder than 12 hours in Indonesia. And about the ‘sacrifice’ thing, I feel like by abstaining myself from pleasure activities, I can focus more on my spiritual dedication. I always feel like I became a better person by the end of Ramadan by not arguing with people or restraining my anger. So definitely I must say rather than sacrificing myself by being hungry all day long, I feel the significance of my personal growth is worth the struggle (I hope it makes sense!).

Eating before Dawn

So how do we survive fasting during the day? We actually eat before dawn, and by ‘dawn’ here is also on different times around the world. In Japan when Ramadan lasted on summer, the dawn was 02.30, while in Indonesia it is typically around 04.30.

You might think that we eat a lot during this time, but actually, it’s hard to eat a lot while we’re still half asleep >< In the end, we can only eat just enough to start our day without looking too miserable.

I personally tend to avoid too much carbo or fat. It’s better to take a lot of protein and fiber as it slows down the digestion process, hence makes us feel full a little bit longer. I also make sure I drink a lot water.

Getting Together and Eating after Sunset

One of our favorite time would be none other than the time when we can break our fast. It is around 19.00 in Japan during summer, and 17.30 in Indonesia.

During this time, we usually get together with our family and friends and break our fast together. In Japan, in the city where I lived in, we have huge Muslim community because my city has some universities and research centers, so I can safely say that my city was very foreigner friendly. We have one mosque that is actually not very big, but because of that, we feel very close to each other.

During Ramadan, we had break-fasting schedule almost everyday in the mosque, and in every schedule, we took turn to prepare the food according to our countries. We have Indonesian, Malaysian, Arab, Egypt, Indian, Bangladesh, and Pakistan community when I lived there, so I’m so grateful to be able to experience so many different Ramadan dishes from around the world. We sat together without distinguishing nations and ethnicity, and we just felt as one big Muslim brothers and sisters :’)

Break-fasting menu from Arab Community, photo by me
Break-fasting menu by Pakistan Community, photo by me
Break-fasting menu by Bangladesh Community, photo by me
Break-fasting menu by Indonesia & Malaysia Community, photo by me

So sorry for the low quality photos, guys. I retrieved those photos from my personal IG account. I took them around 2013-2015 when I was still living in Japan, at that time I didn’t know how to make objects look aesthetic on photos. I basically just took the photos for documentary purpose. But I’m sure you get the idea! XD

Praying until Late at Night

And after break-fasting, we had a special prayer that was longer than usual (and by ‘usual’ here I mean months other than Ramadan month). This prayer actually can be done alone in our own home or together in the mosque. But definitely it feels different when we pray together in the mosque and it feels more Ramadan.

This prayer usually started around 21.00 in Japan because of the summer time, while in Indonesia it started around 19.30. The length of the prayer is actually different according to each mosques’ custom. In our mosque in Japan, this prayer usually finished around 22.30. But this is not an obligatory prayer (like I’ve said before). There were several breaks in the middle of the prayer, so we can go home during those breaks if we want to. Or we can completely skip it from the beginning and do it alone in our home.

So after the prayer, me and my friends usually rode our bicycle together from the mosque to our apartment or dorm in Japan. Even though it’s almost midnight, it felt so nice to be with friends, riding our bicycle in the middle of the road. How I missed those time when I was young and free XD

So those are our Ramadan culture, especially when I was living among many Muslims from different countries in Japan. This is such a rare experience and I can’t thank Allah (God) enough for giving me the opportunity to meet my brothers and sisters from around the world and share Ramadan together for once in my lifetime. When I think that I might not be able to repeat this experience, I am a little bit sad. But at least, I have this memory to remember forever :’)

That’s all guys for today’s post. I hope you enjoyed reading it! If you’re not Muslims, do you find this culture interesting? Or maybe do you have some Muslim friends and know how their Ramadan culture is? Are they different than mine? If you’re Muslims, where are you from and how is your Ramadan culture? Share it on the comments below because I’m really interested to know about that, too!

See you on my next post!

Easy and Quick Skincare Routine to Look Young in Your Late 20

Hey, everyone!

I think it’s really the first time I talk about skincare on this blog. I always talk about makeup while actually I care about my skincare as much as I do about makeup. For me, skincare is even more important that makeup, and I was interested in skincare first even long before I was interested in makeup.

I mentioned briefly how I was first interested in skincare on this blog post. And since that time, I have tried so many skincare products and have gone through so many trials and errors in skincare routine. Gladly I don’t have sensitive skin, so I rarely (or almost never) had a bad experience when trying new products. However, there were several products I felt really did something on my skin, while some others did almost nothing.

These past 8 months, or to be precised since August 2018, I’ve been using the same skincare routine. And just recently I realized that my skin has never been this clear, supple, and elastic. My makeup also sticks better onto my skin effortlessly. And countless times when I didn’t wear any makeup, I was mistaken for a college or even high school student by people I met on the street, while actually I’m a 28 year old married woman with one kid XD But it actually has some drawbacks, too. For example, when I was browsing through a makeup display in my local drugstore, the BA wasn’t even trying to recommend me any product. Maybe because she thought I was a student so I wouldn’t be able to afford any product she recommended anyway XD

Oh and first of all, just for transparency, I wasn’t sponsored by any brand I mentioned here. I purchased everything with my own money. I’m (sadly) just a small blogger, those brands don’t even know that I’m existed in this world XD So don’t worry, what I wrote here is based on my real and honest experience πŸ™‚ But, I mean, in the future even if I was sponsored to make this kind of post, I’ll always stay honest with my review!

So, if you want to know my skincare secrets, just please keep on reading!

Prolog

I adopted this skincare routine actually from the infamous 10-step Korean Skincare Routine. Let’s admit that we, average women in late 20 with all of our everyday routine activities, ain’t always got time for that, right? Just thinking of that and watching beauty bloggers apply that 10-step skincare routine already makes me headache. So, I made my own version of it that is easier, quicker, and more realistic!

First of all, even though the name is “10-step Korean Skincare Routine”, doesn’t mean we must use ALL Korean skincare products. The most important thing is to understand why those steps are implemented. When we understand the purpose of each step, we can clearly eliminate some steps or alternately change some steps so that the phrase “10-step” is no longer overwhelming. And along with it, we can freely choose which product we want to use in each step, as long as it fulfills the purpose of that step.

10-Step Korean Skincare Routine

When talking about “steps” in skincare routine, generally people will ask “why this step is after that step” and vice versa. Actually, the answer is easy. We want to apply products from the ones that have lighter consistency to the ones that have heavier consistency.

Here I will give you a quick explanation of each step, along with the label of which step we can completely skip and alternately change. I will also mention which products I’ve been using for each step.

Oil-based cleanser

I’m sure you are aware that oil can’t be mixed with water. Now let see, what does our skin produce during the day? It’s oil. Even if you have (relatively) dry skin, your skin still secretes oil everyday (it’s just less amount compared to other people). So, what happen if you wash your face with water-based cleanser only? It won’t be able to get rid off oil-based dirt that our skin has produced.

So clearly, this step is a MUST and the first step that you want to implement on your skincare routine. Only oil can help pull out other oil-based impurities, for example sebum.

Products that I’ve been using in this step are Banila.co Clean It Zero and Garnier Micellar Oil Infused Cleansing Water.

Banila.co’s consistency is kind of like balm, but as soon as we apply it on our face, it melts even the most waterproof makeup easily. But, this feels uncomfortable on the eyes. It doesn’t stink, but if it exposed to our eyeballs, it’s going to be like there’s a kind of layer on top of them and it’s slightly obstructing our view.

That’s why on the eyes, I prefer to use the Garnier one. This works perfectly for waterproof makeup, too.

Water-based cleanser

The same principal to the previous step, water-based cleanser helps draw out water-based impurities that aren’t picked up by the oil-based cleanser, for example sweat.

This step is obviously a MUST, too. And I’ve been rotating between Garnier Micellar Water, The Body Shop Tea Tree Facial Wash, or Cetaphil Facial Wash. I use the Garnier one when I’m too lazy to wash my face with facial wash. And I love the Body Shop and Cetaphil ones because they are so gentle on my skin. Even though I feel completely clean after washing my face with them, my skin doesn’t feel tight.

Exfoliator

To make it easier to understand, generally exfoliator comes in a form of scrub, because, exfoliator is used to clean clogged pores or remove dead skin. Therefore, we need a product that contains small grains to make it possible to enter our pores and clean them.

This is a step that we can ALTERNATELY CHANGE with other steps. Actually it’s better to NOT do this step every day because it could scrape not only dead skin but also moisture or other important properties that our skin has. I personally only do this step twice a week, and the products I’ve been rotating to use are Freeman Charcoal + Black Sugar Gel Mask + Scrub, Skinfood Strawberry Black Sugar Mask Wash Off, Kanebo Suisai Beauty Clear Powder, and Cure Natural Aqua Gel.

The Freeman and Skinfood ones are clearly scrubs, so you know how to use them and how they feel.

The Cure one looks like a normal facial wash with jelly-like consistency. Even though it looks like your typical facial wash, it removes dead skin like magic. And the Kanebo one can be used as scrub or gentle facial wash depending on how much water you add to it. I’ll write more detail about the Cure and the Kanebo on another post I’ve planned so make sure to follow this blog if you don’t want to miss it!

Toner

Toner helps restore moisture to our skin after cleansing and exfoliating. It also helps balance our skin’s pH because cleansing our face with facial wash increases our skin pH (remember, soap is an alkaline so it has high pH). However, actually if we use gentle facial wash, it’s not as harsh as usual facial wash that is made of soap, so toner can be skipped. But toner also helps prepare our skin for the next products that are going to be applied to our skin. Therefore, for me this step is also a MUST.

For this past months, I’ve only been using The Body Shop Tea Tree Toner. I never use a cotton pad to apply my toner because I feel it absorbs a lot of liquid so I think it’s a waste of product. I always use my hands to apply my toner.

Essence

The one common question about essence is “what is the difference between essence and serum?”. Generally, essence is liquid product that has consistency between toner and serum. If you know SK-II Facial Treatment Essence or Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence, both of them have the similar liquid-y consistency, which is a bit thicker than a toner, but not as viscous-y as a serum.

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence
Missha Treatment Essence

In terms of composition, according to Fashionista on their article here, technically essence and serum are actually the SAME thing! Both of them have key ingredients that are formulated to resolve certain skin problems. I mentioned about texture above, but recently (according to Fashionista also) essence is getting thicker while serum is getting more lightweight, so the consistency line is getting blurry.

In summary, since both of them don’t have distinctive difference, IMHO, if you’re on a budget (just like me!) you can choose only one of them. I personally completely SKIP essence, and go straight to serum after my toner.

Serum

As I mentioned briefly above, serum is a liquid product that has key ingredients that are formulated to resolve certain skin problems, such as acne, hyper-pigmentation, dark spots, wrinkles, etc. For me personally, I’ve been using this same serum for 8 months, which is The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%, that has brightening effect and also reduce the appearance of blemishes and balance sebum activity. For more detail information about this product, please refer to this link.

I started to use this serum because before I was using them, I had severe acne scars problem. Before, I always broke out during menstruation. And after that, it left acne scars every where on my skin. Although it is said on the website that this doesn’t have direct properties to reduce acne, after using this (and other products I mentioned and will be mentioning here), I rarely break out these days. And my old acne scars is getting disappear!

So clearly, this step is a MUST, and you can use any other serum that suits your skin needs! I do recommend checking out The Ordinary, though, because they are fairly affordable, cruelty free, and a lot of their products are paraben free, gluten free, and vegan!

Again, I’m not sponsored to say this XD I truly am in love with this product and will keep repurchasing it in the future. Now I’m already on my third bottle, by the way!

Sheet mask

Actually, sheet mask is just a mask that is soaked into an essence or a serum. The natural way of using it (by putting it onto our face and leave it for a couple minutes) is able to prolong the contact of that essence/ serum to our skin, thus enable our skin to fully absorb the ingredients and moisture. So actually, we can ALTERNATELY CHANGE the usage of sheet mask with our essence/ serum. When I use my sheet mask, I don’t use my serum, and vice versa. I only use sheet mask once or twice a week.

I’ve tried so many sheet masks from different brands, but recently, I’ve been using and keep repurchasing these sheet masks by Etude House. It has very thin layer and it sticks well onto my skin so I never feel it slips off my face whenever I’m using it. It also has perfect size for my eye and mouth holes.

Eye cream

Our eye area is the most gentle part of our skin. When we’re getting older, this is the part that gets wrinkly first, so taking care of it as early as possible is a MUST. Eye cream is formulated to hydrate eye area, reduce the appearance of wrinkle, and prevent dark circles or puffiness.

I used Innisfree Orchid Eye Cream for months before completely running out of it just a month ago. For now, I’m using Safi Age Defy Eye Treatment because I wanted to try more affordable eye cream. The Safi one definitely is more lightweight thus it’s suitable for using on AM routine underneath our makeup. The Innisfree one is much more thicker, and I must say it’s better to be used on PM routine only.

When I run out of my Safi one, I think I will buy both of them because I feel the Innisfree one is more hydrating, thus I need it on my PM routine much more than the Safi one. Of course currently I can’t say many related to the long time result, but I’ve been enjoying the two of them so far, and I rarely had a problem with dark circle or puffiness!

Moisturizer

Moisturizer, just like its name, is mainly used to provide extra moisture to our skin. There are many kinds of moisturizer on the market, so my advice is to choose one based on the ingredients or the consistency that suits your skin needs. For me who have normal to oily skin, I chose the one that has lighter consistency, so that it won’t add too much moisture to my skin that is fairly hydrated.

This step is a MUST for PM routine, and I’ve been using Laneige Water Sleeping Mask as my moisturizer since it’s very lightweight and absorbed pretty fast. But according its manual, this sleeping mask is not for everyday use, so I just use it three times a week.

Sun protector

You know what it is, it’s to protect our skin from damage caused by UV rays. This step is clearly a MUST for AM routine. Don’t forget to apply it not only on your face, but to all skin area that is exposed to the sun light during your daytime activity.

Sun protector or sun screen was the first skincare product that I owned, long before I know toner, serum, etc. And believe me, I’ve tried so many different ones, from Indonesian brands, to Korean brands, to western brands, but the best one yet is the one that I’ve been using now, which is Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF 50+ PA++++.

This one is perfect to use underneath makeup. It’s absorbed fast, not greasy, and not sticky at all but still helps add more adhesion to our makeup. 10 out of 10!

Face Oil (Additional)

I add an additional step to my PM skincare routine which is face oil. Having oily skin doesn’t mean we don’t need face oil. By adding face oil, it helps decrease the secretion of our natural oil during the night. After I incorporate this step as my very last step of my PM routine, I feel my face is less oily now, and I suppose that’s why I also don’t break out as much as before.

The face oil that I’ve been using is The Ordinary Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil. I only use it three times a week and a little goes along way. I’ve been using it for eight months but still have 2/3 left. This step is an ADDITIONAL step but I highly recommend you try it out!

Summary

So, to summarize all of the things I mentioned above, here are my AM and PM skincare routine for the past eight months that helps me reduce my break out, makes my face less oily, and brighten up my face, thus help my face look younger (according to the people I met on the street):

AM

Water-based cleanser (everyday): The Body Shop Tea Tree or Cetaphil Gentle Facial Wash

Toner (everyday): The Body Shop Tea Tree Toner

Serum (everyday): The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

Eye cream (everyday): Safi Age Defy Eye Treatment

Sun protector (everyday): Biore Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF 50+ PA++++

This AM routine only has 5 steps!

And if you want to see me applying this routine, check it on my video here!

PM

Oil-based cleanser (everyday): Banila.co Clean It Zero or Garnier Oil-infused Micellar Water

Water-based cleanser (everyday): The Body Shop Tea Tree or Cetaphil Gentle Facial Wash

Exfoliator (twice a week): Rotation between Freeman Charcoal + Black Sugar Gel Mask + Scrub, Skinfood Strawberry Black Sugar Mask Wash Off, Kanebo Suisai Beauty Clear Powder, and Cure Natural Aqua Gel.

Toner (everyday): The Body Shop Tea Tree Toner

Serum (everyday when I don’t use my sheet mask): The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

Sheet mask (once or twice a week): Etude House

Eye cream (everyday): Safi Age Defy Eye Treatment or Innisfree Orchid Eye Cream

Moisturizer (three times a week): Laneige Water Sleeping Mask

Face oil (three times a week): The Ordinary Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil

This PM routine has 5 steps that I do everyday, and 4 other steps that are alternately change with each other.

I’ll make sure to film this routine also in the future, so don’t forget to subscribe to my Youtube channel and follow my Instagram account!

Final Advice

Thank you so much for you who made it until this part! Such a long post, isn’t it, but I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I love sharing it with you. My final advice would be:

  1. It’s important to know the “why” before actually implementing a particular skincare routine.
  2. Choose products based on your skin needs. Check the ingredients and don’t buy/ use something just because the hype of it. Just because we’re on our late 20, doesn’t mean we ONLY need to use products that have anti-aging properties in it. If you, for example, have severe acne scars or break out, fix that problem first, because clearer skin looks healthier thus makes you look brighter in general.
  3. Choose products based on your skin condition. For me who has more of a normal-oily skin, I tend to choose products that is not really thick, not greasy, and absorbed fast.
  4. Apply the products from lighter to heavier consistency.
  5. Be consistent! I’ve been implementing this skincare routine for eight months before sharing it with you as now I can see clear result on my skin.
  6. “You are what you eat”. Recently I also have been trying to eat “okay” (I want to say “healthy” but I don’t think I’ve reached that level as for now) . I’ve been drinking 2 L of water everyday, and also avoiding processed food as much as I can. I believe what comes from inside is also important to maintain what is seen from the outside.
  7. Be happy! Surround yourself with positive people and positive activities!

So yeah, that is all for today’s post! I hope you don’t feel overwhelmed by so many products I mentioned here. That’s just because I love trying skincare products, so I try to rotate them as much as I could to be able to finish all of them. But, among all of skincare products I’ve tried, the ones I mentioned here are the ones that have clear positive impacts to my skin.

I hope this post is somehow helpful for you and don’t hesitate to correct me if I’m wrong.

What is your current skincare routine? Will you implement this routine to your routine? Did you find your holy grail products here? Let me know on the comment section below!

‘Till next time!

Reading sources:

10-Step Korean Skincare Routine

The Difference Between Essence and Serum

Be Grateful

Hey, all.

Today’s post is actually very short, but I just want to give you a quick update.

So, just recently I got new job! I can’t thank God enough for this! Well, actually it’s not ‘new’ new, but here’s the thing.

From the beginning of this year, I want to give a shot once more to this blog. I have this blog since 2012 but I never write it regularly with a specific theme, so I always ran out of idea of what to write in this blog. So, on January, along with the start of my low-buy year project, I revamped this blog, and actually set a designated schedule to write. I’ve been enjoying writing in this blog, updating my Instagram account and Youtube channel, and I was able to meet new friends from all over the world, all because of this new blog that I have.

Besides that, teaching Japanese has always been my passion also. So, in the beginning of this year, I also posted some advertisements on some local medias here in the city where I reside about me opening a private Japanese lesson. Since then, several people contacted me, but none of them finally became my students. It was like this until March, so I just focus on this blog, my Instagram account, and my Youtube channel. I tried to not have high hopes for my Japanese class.

However, in the beginning of April, suddenly two people contacted me about my Japanese class, and both of them finally decided to study from me! I am so grateful and couldn’t be anymore happier than these days. Three days a week now I have my teaching schedule for these past two weeks.

Therefore, consequently, I have less time to update all of social media accounts. Because of this new schedule that I have to add to my previous existing schedule, I couldn’t finish some drafts that I have prepared for this blog. I need to re-arrange my schedule ASAP!

So, I hope you don’t mind that there will be no beauty-related content this week. I have prepared two posts for the next weeks, but I need more time to do my research related to those posts. I don’t want to upload a blog post just for the sake of uploading every week. I want the content to be comprehensive and actually helpful for you who read it.

Regardless, I’m so grateful for my new job, and also for you who have followed me and read my blog posts. I hope I can sort everything out quickly and have a normal schedule again!

Thank you for bearing with me, and see you on my next post!

Super Easy Way to Make A Sushi Roll

Hey, everyone!

First of all, no, you are not opening a wrong blog. This is still me, Unpretty Vanity, and this time I want to share with you something a little bit different than what I usually write. But of course, this blog ain’t gonna change to a recipe blog. This blog will still be a beauty & lifestyle blog. And since Japan-related lifestyle is also part of me, I think it’s not out-of-nowhere that I write this kind of post once in a while!

Actually, I haven’t really told you about myself and maybe some of you who followed me just recently was a little bit confuse why Japan is related to me. If you’re Indonesians or understand Indonesian, you can read my previous posts about my life in Japan on the menu ‘Japan’ and ‘Monbusho’ on this blog. But if you’re neither, I’ll make sure to write more detail about my life in Japan later, of course if you are interested to know a little bit more about myself! For now, let’s diggin’ into this post!

If you happened to come across this post hoping for some fancy sushi roll recipes, I’m sorry that this post might disappoint you. Here I’ll mainly give you a SUPER EASY STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO MAKE A SUSHI ROLL WITH INGREDIENTS YOU PROBABLY HAVE AT YOUR HOME. If it’s your cup of tea, then just keep on reading!

Sushi roll is probably the easiest kind of sushi we can make by ourselves at home. You can literally fill it with any veggies or meats you like.

A couple days ago, me and my husband wanted to have fun a little bit at home, so we decided to make a simple sushi roll. Our son is only two and a half years old so we also wanted him to learn making food and we thought sushi roll is not dangerous to be made by toddler. Here were all the ingredients and tools that we used.

Ingredients: rice, fried chicken nuggets, fried chikuwa (a kind of fish sausage), furikake (food sprinkle) in any flavor (this time we used nori-flavor), and some sheets of nori (seaweed). You can find these ingredients in your local Asian market. You can of course change the filling with some healthier ingredients such as cucumber or carrot.

Tools: knife (to cut the ingredients), cutting board, and sushi roller. This sushi roller we have we bought in Daiso in Japan. I’m sure you can find it in Daiso or any Japanese dollar store in your area.

First, mix the furikake with the rice evenly. It makes the rice looks pretty and very Japanese. Also cut the ingredients (in our case: nuggets and chikuwa) into long and slim shape so it will fit inside our rice roll without making the diameter of the roll too big.

Next, spread one sheet of nori on the roller, and put rice as much as one third of the nori, and then put the ingredients on the center part of the rice. If my words don’t make sense, just see the picture below XD

Next, roll up the roller until in covers all first components that have been added above, give it some pressure until it feels tight. And then, add one third of rice again without opening the roller, just like the picture below:

Yes, we were using our son’s table to make this dish and don’t worry even though there were knives there, our son was completely safe from them XD

After that, open the roller, but immediately roll it again until it covers the second component of rice that has been added just now. And then, add a little bit of rice to make the rest of the nori part sticky, and lastly, roll it again until the roller completely cover the sushi roll. Give it some pressure again until the roll tight and firm like on the picture below:

Now, just cut the roll into some bite-sized pieces!

So it’s basically done! Super easy, right! It was also super fun to make with kids at home to make bonding time without having to go outside πŸ™‚

That’s all for today’s post. I’m sorry that it’s very short, but I hope you enjoyed and got some inspiration for when you don’t want to cook complicated meals!

What do you think about this kind of post once in a while? If you like it, I’d more than happy to make this kind of post again in the future. Please tell me what easy Japanese recipes you want to read next on this blog!

Still want to read some more from this blog? Here are some of my popular posts:

Halal in-flight meals review (in Indonesian)

MEXT scholarship selection process (in Indonesian)

Life as a blogger (in English)

Tips for shopping on Colourpop website (in English)

Thank you for reading today’s post! Until then!