Lately, 05.14.17

I didn’t realize that it’s been nearly a month since I’ve posted!

First things first: Happy Mother’s Day to all the mamas out there! My mom and I had brunch yesterday, to avoid today’s inevitable crowds.

A little life update: I sent in my UK visa application last week, and it’s already been approved! It’s an EEA Family Permit (non-settlement), which means once I arrive in the UK, I have to start on the permanent resident visa. But at least we’re now one step closer!

Lastly, my obsession with Japanese makeup brushes just keeps growing… Expect a brush haul post and comparison pictures soon! With that said, I will leave you with my latest craving:

This is the Koyudo Somell Garden brush collection. I can’t read Japanese, but basically these brushes are inspired by fruit. Their wood handles were chosen to enhance the colors of the dyed bristles. From left to right: Peach x Keyaki blush brush, Orange x Hard Maple blush brush, Blueberry x Walnut highlighting brush, and the Lemon x Walnut face brush. All links go to CDJapan’s website. Each brush is under $35 USD, and I shamelessly want all of them. Because LOOK AT THEM. How freakin’ cute are they??

Images via

I shouldn’t, but I’ll probably end up buying all of them eventually. *__*

I’m back from the (walking) dead!

Please excuse the awful pun in the post title.

I took an unexpected hiatus when I decided to start watching The Walking Dead on Netflix one day. Two weeks later, I had fully caught up to the current season and am now (im)patiently waiting for each week’s Sunday broadcast. That’s a lot of zombies!

Binge-watching a post-apocalyptic zombie show does weird things to your mental state. Nevertheless, I am slowly disengaging myself from that and rejoining reality. Thank God society hasn’t collapsed in the real world. Err, yet.

Anyway, I got a job as an emergency hire office assistant for the next three months. Hopefully it will keep me busy. At the very least, I’ll be earning some money again. Being unemployed for a year and a half, especially while you’re willing and able to work, is just awful. I miss the day-to-day drudgery.

Since February was a quiet month on the blog, I will be more active here in March. I did a fair bit of hauling for my birthday, but I’m currently back on a no-buy until April. What kind of posts do you guys want to see, by the way?

Back in Hawaii

Hey friends. I know I’ve been quiet for the past two weeks. I arrived back in Honolulu on Friday, 25 March with Albert.

We’ve been taking it easy here, even staying on a farm through Air BnB over the weekend — so relaxing! Unfortunately, Albert leaves tonight. The sun is setting on our six uninterrupted months together and they flew by way too fast.

Anyway, I’ve updated the reading and writing settings to reflect Hawaiian Standard Time, if anyone cares about why my posts be going up at a different time now.

Hope you’ve all been well! To keep this post beauty related, how many of you are picking things up during the Sephora spring sale? 15% off for VIB Rouge (ROUGENOTE) and VIB (VIBNOTE) and 10% for BI (BINOTE). Ends 12 April for BI, 13 April for VIB/Rouge.

I’ve demonstrated remarkable restraint and only picked up an eyebrow brush, a Beauty Blender, a mini coffret fragrance trio, and an Urban Decay Moondust eyeshadow in Solstice because sparkles. I’m eyeing a few more things (of course), and I plan to go in-store on Sunday to pick up a concealer and a liquid lipstick for a friend, so fingers crossed that I will maintain my self-control!

Coffee Sundays, a reboot.

About a year and a half ago, I enthusiastically started a series called Coffee Sundays in which I asked my readers six questions in an attempt to get an open forum chat going in the comments. There are exactly two posts with that tag. Way to go, Jen.

Since switching over to self-hosting, my comments are few and far between. It doesn’t make sense to do something similar now, since it would just be sad. So, instead I’ll post random things, some beauty related, and some not, in an effort to introduce more variety to this blog.

  • Albert got me into listening to podcasts. I like to listen to them while running. It feels like doing two things at once: working out and learning new things.  One of our favorites is called Stuff You Should Know, and they recently did one on how makeup works. I found it fun and entertaining and there were a few tidbits in there that were news to me. You can either click the link above to listen to it on the web, or subscribe on your device and search for the episode.
  • On a  related note, since the episode mentioned the Ancient Egyptians and their use of kohl, check out this video by Lisa Eldridge where she actually gets to see real kohl artifacts and has the incredible opportunity to make some modern day kohl using much of the same materials that would have been used in Ancient Egypt:

  • I mentioned briefly in my “New Year, new me” post that I took up running. I am very happy and proud to say that I finished the 8-week training program and that I can now run comfortably for 30 minutes straight. I’m now working my way up to an hour. Prior to this, I was never able to run for even a mile without stopping, so being able to run about 4.5 km (about 2.79 miles) is a HUGE deal for me. Beauty related: I bought Charlotte Tilbury’s Filmstar Bronze & Glow as a reward when I finished. I haven’t used it yet but I’m dying to!!
  • On that subject of running, I thought I’d mention a couple apps that I use: Runmeter, to track the run (distance, time, calories burned, etc.), and Yoga Studio, to stretch afterward. Runmeter is free with the option to pay for no ads, while Yoga Studio costs about $5, but it’s SO WORTH IT. There are tons of different classes that focus on different things: strength, flexibility, balance. Mostly I use the runner’s stretches, but occasionally I’ll do a longer combination session. There are even video blocks so you can create your own classes!
  • I’ve been keeping up with Duolingo (okay, some weeks I completely miss my practice every day), and now I’m 22% fluent in French, HA. I also started Swedish. It’s challenging since up until this point, I’ve only studied Romance languages. But I really enjoy the way Duolingo teaches you, it almost feels like a game.
  • Been sitting here for over an hour and I can’t think of anything else non-beauty related to chatter about, so I’ll just mention my latest craving: Japanese brushes. I really want to buy the Chikuhodo Z4 and Z2 (CDJapan is offering free shipping on makeup brushes until April 25! Tax refund present?), and now that Beautylish has the option of three payments on orders over $100, I want to buy the Wayne Goss Collection set. Send help. Someone talk me out of (or into!) it.

On beauty blogging, market saturation, and rampant consumerism

I’ve put off writing this post for far too long. Partly because my thoughts and opinions on these divisive subjects are hard to articulate. And despite my tiny readership, I am a little wary of putting myself out there. After all, buying and trying new things are part of the appeal of both reading and writing a beauty blog, right? So where’s the appeal in a blog that actually aims to buy less? Is there a niche for that? Should I even give a sh*t?

But if I’m really honest, beyond the vanity of growing my little blog, I’m mostly afraid of “making it real.” I’ve talked for years about wanting to have less makeup, and going through half-hearted motions to achieve it. Project pans, inventories. But making the commitment to truly walk the talk, to get rid of makeup items that I no longer use? There are so many things that hold me back, like alarm at how much money I’ve wasted, or it’s limited edition, and of course, that little twinge of uncertainty, “but what if I need it later??” 

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