J-pop talk: Ieiri Leo [家入レオ]

So, it’s been forever since I updated this blog. I have several ideas for new posts, especially I wish to make a series of “things foreigners wished more Japanese people knew”, where I’ll write about some annoying stereotypes foreigners experience in Japan – but also overall some misconceptions many Japanese people have about certain things in the international world.

Today, I just felt like sharing some music, since I realized that I’ve not, yet introduced one of my newer favorite artists – Ieiri Leo.

I feel in love with this girl a few months back, when I was looking for new music. I often look for new music and when I listen to new artists they often feel bland. I was actually thinking how I missed being completely captured by a voice or a song, when I pressed play on one of Ieiri Leo’s songs – Message. I had only listened 20 seconds when I knew that she was the girl I was looking for. Especially after YUI went hiatus and later dropped her solo career, I’ve mostly only been all about Abe Mao – who I have earlier introduced here. Ieiri Leo has the type of voice and songs I love the most – a little similar to YUI and Abe Mao. She has also been trained at the same school as YUI – which might explain the slight similarities in style.

Wonderful pop songs, which are not too cheesy or repetitive. I sometimes like cheesy pop songs to dance around to, when that’s the case I listen to AKB48 or other idols.

When I just want to listen to music, which I feel reach me on another level, I listen to Abe Mao, YUI, Nishino Kana and now Ieiri Leo.

Ieiri Leo is a young girl, born in 1994 and is now 19 years old. Like pretty much all my favorite artists and idols – (and people) she is born in the island of Kyuushu (Fukuouka prefecture). Apparently I’m drawn to Kyuushu people. YUI (Fukuouka), Abe Mao (Oita), Kashiwagi Yuki (Kagoshima) and now Ieiri Leo. Even my husband is from Kyuushu.

She debuted in 2012 with the song: Sabrina.

Next she released “Shine”, which is one of her most famous songs.

Which has nice lyrics that reminds people that you will fall down many times in life, but as long as we keep on shinning, we can climb even the “tallest walls”

By international standards, Ieiri doesn’t have a perfect voice, but in Japanese standards, it’s good. I don’t really seek the perfect, beautiful voices – that would also make it hard for me to love Japanese music in general. I actually find a lot of perfect voice to be a little boring, wheres people like Ieiri, Abe Mao and YUI has a lot of personality in their voices. A uniqueness, which I love.
After hearing Ieiri’s songs and loving them all, I hurried to buy her album and singles while there still were limited editions left to start my new collection. That’s the same I did with Abe Mao some time after her debut, which is why I own all limited edition CDs she’s made. Same reason why I have the first indies singles by AKB48, which at that time were cheap and only had very few copies – since I used to be a fan.

Ever since her debut, Ieiri has managed get the attention of many in the music world and she has won several awards, including best new artist.
All her singles have been in the top 10 of the Oricon charts.
The newest single by Ieiri, released last month, is “Taiyou no Megami” (Goddess of the sun) Got 7th on the charts and it’s another beautiful song.

Her next single will be released in the end of January.

With this, I want to wish everyone a merry Christmas and happy holidays.

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My Ten Favorite/Most used Make-up Items. [Alphabetically]

L’oreal – Color Riche Eyeshadow

The color Riche line is one of the newer eyeshadow lines from L’oreal (they also have the color riche nail polish line). It offers an array of colors, everything from natural looks to colorful looks. All the eyeshadows contains a set of 4 colors and on the back on the eyeshadow an small example of how to use all the colors is included. Some of the most vibrant of these are the purple one, the blue one and the orange/green one, which works great when creating a colorful look. I was especially excited about the purple colors, since I for some time have been searching for a pigmented purple color – since for some reason the color purple seem to have the hardest time showing up on the lid. I did several swatch tests of several purple eyeshadows of several brands in several store and none of them showed up as pigmented as this L’oreal Color Riche Eyeshadow (my test also included other L’oreal eyeshadows which didn’t pass the test). The color pretty much shows up as clear is in the palette and has very few fall outs. The same goes for the other colors in this line – no matter if it’s the green or the bronze or the blue and they’re all quite recommended.

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L’oreal – Lash Architect 4D Mascara

This has been my current favorite mascara since its’ release last year. It’s easy to apply, with less chances of the lashes clumping together and it gives them a full and long finish without having to apply too much. Before this mascara I’ve been through more mascaras than what is considered fun. I was always ready to test the newest drug store mascaras in hopes of finding a new favorite, but with this L’oreal Lash Architect I finally found it. Though recently I’ve also taken an interest to the new Maybelline Rocket Volume Mascara. Normally I’ve not been a big fan of the Maybelline Mascaras, but this newest addition to the Volume Express family actually to have potential. It separates the lashes, gives them good length and doesn’t leave any crunchy lashes or clumps.

208500-0648_1L’oreal – Perfect Match Concealer

My most trusted concealer. It’s easy to apply and has great coverage. One of my main reasons for choosing this concealer last year, was the fact that this doesn’t use the “click system”. The system where the applicator is a brush and you click on the bottom of the concealer, like a pen, to get more product on the brush, like this GOSH concealer in the picture below.

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I’ve had some bad experiences with the click system when I’ve brought the concealer with my on flights. The pressure on the flight resulted in the concealer to “pop” and a lot of the product flooded out of the brush. I’m not saying that all click foundations will do this, but I find the click system unreliable for people who travel a lot like me, since there will always be a chance they will “break under pressure”.

Therefore I decided to find a concealer with a different system, which this L’oreal has. As seen in the picture above this concealer utilizes a sponge line applicator instead of a brush, which is dipped into the product instead. A lot more reliable on flights and such.

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MaxFactor – Face Finity 3 in 1 Foundation

Before I used this foundation I used the Dream Matte Mouse from Maybelline since I found that very easy to apply compared to liquid foundations. Then I came across this MaxFactor 3 in 1 Foundation, which is both a foundation, primer and concealer – all you’ll ever need.

This foundation has great smooth coverage without getting cakey and it’s very easy to apply. Since it’s a 3 in 1 foundation it saves a lot of time since you’ll not have to worry about primer and concealer. Though when I seek flawless skin on more special days I still like to apply my favorite face primer and concealer. Though it is without evident that this foundation also contains certain amount of these two things, since it covers up red spots and dark patches better than a regular foundation and it also lasts longer than a foundation without primer. Overall this is currently the foundation I recommend to friends and family when I get asked.

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Maybelline – Dream Matte Powder

Not much to say about this product, but since I do use it everyday with satisfaction I thought it needed a mention. It’s easy to apply and gives you a nice, matte and smooth skin.

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Maybelline – Eye Studio – Color Tattoo 24hr Cream Gel Shadow

The Maybelline Eye Studio 24hr gel shadows are often compared to the MAC paint pots, but there’s no doubt that Maybelline’s gel shadows are the cheap alternative, since the MAC paint pots costs around 18 USD you can buy Maybelline’s color tattoos for around 8 USD – half the price. I must admit I’ve not, yet had the chance to try the MAC paint pots, but the Maybelline color tattoos was instantly among some of my favorite make-up items. The colors are very intense, easy to apply and lasts for a long time. Especially the colors such as gold, silver and bronze are surely colors that will make a nice addition to any make-up collection. The great thing about these gel shadows is not just the great colors and easy application, but also that they can act as an eyeshadow primer. Just add one of these gel shadows on your lid and apply other favorite eyeshadows on top your look will last a lot longer – also without any creases. The only color among these 24hr gel shadows which is not recommended is the purple color. I have not purchased it myself, but after doing simple swatch tests in the make-up store it quickly shows that it does neither apply evenly nor is it easy to work with. Other make-up reviews will often agree to this fact. The other colors are great purchases.

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Sephora – Raspberry Sheen Blush

My current favorite and most used blush. It’s a nice dark pink color that goes great with my fair skin. It’s easy to apply and has a nice finish. It has tiny glitters in it to add some shine to your cheeks, but the glitter is still so small and subtle that it doesn’t add any cheesy unneeded sparkles, which also makes it a great addition for your everyday make-up.

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Urban Decay – Eyeshadow Primer Potion

Most make-up loving girls swears by this product and I’m without a doubt a part of this group. Are you tired of your pretty eye make-up getting ruined by nasty creases? Aren’t your pretty eyeshadow colors showing up well on your lid? Or are you just tired of your eye make-up lasting far from long enough? Then the eyeshadow primer potion from Urban Decay just what you’re looking for. Not only does it make your eye make-up last all the way through the day, it also prevents your make-up from creasing and it will stay perfect for hours without any change. Finally using this eyeshadow primer also helps your eyeshadow colors to show up more brightly and colorful on your lids – which means this primer is definitely a must for the more heavy make-up like smokey eyes. It’s pretty hard to make the perfect smokey eyes without this primer.

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Urban Decay – Naked Palette 2

Everyone talks about this palette from Urban Decay and most people praise it. It surely is a great addition to any make-up collection – especially for those people, like me, who also likes to wear eyeshadows on regular days. It’s filled with all the colors needed for a neutral look that you can wear at school, at work or even to a party. It suits pretty much any skin tone, any occasion and it gives you a timeless look. The colors are well pigmented and shows up very well on the lid (tested with eyeshadow primer potion), there’s a regular amount of fall outs and it has a wide array of colors (between dark brown, bronze, golds and light colors) making it possible to put together various looks. I myself have a big passion for brown, bronze and gold colors, making this palette an obvious purchase for me and it has also become a treasured part of my collection.

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Urban Decay – Smoked Palette

This is the perfect item for anybody who love smokey eyes – like me. It’s a simple palette, with 10 colors and an eyeliner. There is 4 matte colors and 6 metallic/shimmery colors, making this a strong contender for being the perfect smokey eye palette. The colors range from earth colors (brown, grey, black and beige) to strong colors like purple, blue and green, giving many possibilities for a great look, whether you like the classic black smokey eyes, smoldering brown eyes, rockstar purple eyes or green smokey eyes. You can also be bold and mix them all up. The colors are beautiful, vibrant and pigmented and pretty much what you can expect from an Urban Decay product. Together with the palette and the eyeliner, you also get a travel size eyeshadow primer potion and also a pamphlet with various step-by-step tutorials to do various looks.

Earrings and Make-up Shopping [LA Colors]

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Yesterday I went shopping in the Aeon Shopping mall in Miyazaki, Japan with my husband (somebody had to pay for the fun). And Like always I find myself spending too much time looking at make-up and jewelry. I bought a lot of earrings, stockings, leg-warmers, make-up and other stuff. I just though it would be interesting to show these “Alice in Wonderland” themed earrings I bought. Japan really knows how to create cute designs that makes you want to spend your husband’s money. All the earrings I bought (including the above) are made in Japan, which makes them a bit more expensive that the regular girlish jewelry you can find in Japan. The earrings cost between 900 yen to 1,400 yen (10 – 16 USD), where you can often buy cute jewelry for the price of 315 yen to 600 yen. (3.5 – 9 USD).

Of course if you want real silver or gold jewelry you have to dish up with a lot of more money, since Japan has never been known for being a cheap country. I almost feel like crying every time I have to pay 3,5 USD for one apple or 60 cent for one single carrot. Eating healthy in Japan might kill me.

Another purchase of mine was three make-up pallets from LA colors – each with 16 shimmer colors.

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The first one is with pinkish and purple colors, the second is with blueish and green colors and the last one has silver, copper and gold colors. This is the first time I’ve come across this brand, but when I saw the colors and the price it was love at first sight, which resulted in me buying all of them. One pallet costs 840 yen (around 9 USD), which is rarely a price I’ve come across – at least not when it comes to quality products, so I had my worries, but let the colors sweep me away. I was to be honest positively surprised by these products, the colors are a lot more pigmented than I had hoped for and the blend very nicely. I have one of the big Sephora pallets, which costs are lot more than these LA colors combined, but I have to admit that I actually can’t see the big difference between the two products. The Sephora one actually seems to have a lot more fall-outs than the LA colors, if I have to compare something else.

Of course these LA colors products are not the best make-up products I own or have tested, but considering the very cheap price I actually think they’re well worth the money, especially for everyday casual use. The colors are beautiful, shimmery, varied and transfers well from the pallet to the eyelid. I’m very happy with this purchase and I could see myself buying more LA colors products in the future.

I have been inactive for some time due to a busy schedule and a week ago a family member passed away here in Japan and I’ve been very busy with funeral preparations. I think my next blog entry will describe a shinto funeral here in Japan. Since I myself didn’t know much about this.

Peripera – The Best Nail Polish Korea has to offer.

So this is quite the girlish post, so guys should just skip ahead.

I normally don’t write reviews concerning make-up, even though it’s a huge part of my life. I’m one of those girls who uses a lot of money on clothes, shoes, make-up and also a whole lot of money on nail polish. All the girlish stuff bundled up into one, right?

So I’m the girl who doesn’t leave the house without make-up, nor do I go out without my nails showing the newest nail art. So through other nail polish lovers my attention was brought the a new popular brand from South Korea called Peripera. This brand sells not just nail polish, but also make-up such as, BB-cream, blushers, lipstick and lipgloss.

I searched for pictures of the Peripera nail polish and fell in love right away. Some of the colors the ones seen many times before, but some of the others, especially their glitters and metallic colors caught my attention.

This is just some of the many colors Peripera has to offer:

I bought the Metallic green, Prism Navy, Sparkle Aqua and Sparkle blue (Last two not on the above picture)

One bottle is around 8.50 USD, so it’s not the cheapest nor the most expensive nail polish the world have to offer, but the amount in the bottles (15ml) is pretty much the perfect amount and it also has an interesting design. What is interesting about Peripera’s nail polishes, is the very big brush, which means that people with small nails, will be able to actually cover their whole nail in one swipe. Peripera nail polish is also very pigmented, which means that where most regular nail polishes needs two coats in order to give the best result, you only need one coat with Peripera. I was amazed to see how this easily applied, thin coat, with the very convenient big brush, could give such a deep and full color, without having to apply another coat. This nail polish must be the most pigmented nail polish I’ve ever used.

Overall this nail polish leaves a full, smooth and beautiful color, without you even trying. There’s no streaking either. From other reviews, this also seems to be a very lasting nail polish, and should be able to provide you with a beautiful nail for several days without chipping. Since I’ve only applied the polish today, I can’t tell whether this is true.

The sparkle polish creates a beautiful finish for your nail (I only added the glitter on the bottom nail), making it look professional and classy, even though you just spent a few minutes. I added a top coat to smooth the whole thing out. The two sparkle polishes I bought, is some of the most beautiful sparkly polishes I’ve laid my eyes on and overall I’m very excited about these. A fun an interesting thing about these peripera nail polishes is that perfume has been added, with leaves your newly painted nail smelling of sweet candy, meaning no more harsh polish smells, that can leave your stomach turning.

As you can probably hear, I’m very positive about this product and I might go as far as to declaring these polishes some the best I’ve ever tried and there’s not doubt that I’ll purchase more in a near future.

When it comes to purchasing this product, I recommend this following Korean ebayer, topinkgirl, who sell Peripera for a very reasonable price, gives free shipping world wide, adds a tracker to your parcel if you buy for more than 40 USD and overall is very reliable, makes very secure parcels and ships them to you very fast. I received my 4 polishes and a blusher within less than a week. (shipping from Korea to Denmark).

Like mentioned, I also decided to buy one blusher in vanilla pink (since I have a very fair skin tone), since I was in the need of a new one and overall felt like trying out one of peripera’s other products. What I especially liked about the blusher is the very cute design, which is very girly with its’ pink color and laces.

As seen on the above picture, the blusher also comes with a brush. Normally these kinds of brushes does not receive good reviews and few people choses to use them, but this Peripera brush is surprisingly soft and shows good quality, which means that this brush does not need to be replaced and can be used right away. Overall this also seems like a very good product and I am surely happy with my purchase. All I can do now is to recommend the Peripera brands to other make-up and/or nail polish users, since it’s an affordable brand in very good quality and is surely among some of the great things South Korea has to offer.