Blaune hair dye bubble color foam 2AH Ash Brown (Kao corp) review/ swatch

Here's my review of the Kao group's Blaune hair dye bubble color (there's no English name on the box). Kao group also makes Liese and Prettia bubble hair dyes. However the Blaune line is now exclusively sold in Japan and it is targeted for those with grey hair. 

I purchased this during my trip to Tokyo but even on ebay there are no sellers for this. The retail price is similar to Liese and Prettia line, if not just a tiny bit higher. I purchased mine for about $18AUD. It is virtually impossible to find reviews whether on chinese websites or English ones for the Blaune bubble hair dye,  probably due to its very limited availability. I'm reviewing shade "2AH Ash Brown" (the color tables are also contained in this review, I shall explain the color system later).

All the instructions and everything are in Japanese, so here are just all sides of the box:

2AH Ash Brown is meant to look like the below:

2AH is the color on the very bottom right corner.

So the colors are divided into 5 color groups- Pink, Orange, Natural, Pearl and Ash. (I really don't know what Pearl base is meant to look like). Then the shades towards the top of the chart are lighter while the bottom of chart equals darker.
1PK (Pinkish Brown), the only pink shade.

2OR (Orange Chiffon), the only orange based shade.

0SP (Sparkling Brown), 1CL (Clear brown) and 2MD (Medium Brown) are the three Natural based 
shades, 0SP being lightest and 2MD being darkest.

0SK is Silky Brown (not tabled above but is the 10th shade added per official website, extracted color chart below), 1JR (Jewel Brown) and 2PL (pearl brown) are the three "Pearl" based shades. 0SK being lightest.

1AH (ash beige) and 2AH (ash brown) are the two Ash based shades. 1AH being lighter than 2AH.

カラーバリエーション ピンク系~アッシュ系まで、明るめブラウンが充実の全10色。

Ok I hope the above was helpful for people. I would pick the color by what color base you want- typically if you are not Asian, you would probably prefer the "Natural", "Pearl" and "Ash" shades. The pink and orange based shades can go quite red or orange particularly on non-Asian hair.

Again I'm using 2Ah which is Ash Brown. The Ash shade usually means the color has a green undertone (as opposed to meaning Ash being Ash black or something charcoal-like), which is generally more suitable to Asian hair as the green base means the color is less likely to fade and turn yellow/ brassy/ orange. On properly dyed hair the green is never visible to naked eyes (unless you start the ash off on blonde hair or very bleached hair).

Here are the contents of the bubble hair dye kit- it's pretty much exactly the same as Prettia and Liese contents. You get (from left to right on picture below): a rinse off conditioner treatment, the pump for the foam applicator, the foam applicator bottle, the color mixer bottle, and the instructions with a pair of plastic gloves. 

As usual you tip the small bottle content into the bigger bottle, close cap, tip bottle upside down about 5 times very gently, without shaking the content to cause too much air bubbles. Then you put on gloves, remove the cap from the big bottle and fit in the nozzle pump. Then you squeeze the body of the bottle and foam will come right out. Then massage foam onto dry hair, until all the foam is used up and covers the whole head and all hair. Then leave on for at least 20 minutes (upto 30-40min if your hair is hard to take color). Rinse thoroughly, shampoo twice, apply the sachet of conditioner, wait 5 minutes, then rinse off and blowdry.

Here is the foam on my head- it produces a really good foam coverage, I love the Blaune foam the most compared with all the previous bubble hair dye I've used! It's so easy to squeeze the bottle and the foam is dense and not all dripping and liquid-like. All the way until very last drop. One bottle is just enough for my long hair (which is about half way down my back). I have a lot of hair so if the foam content was even just 10% more it would be even better for me.  

Unfortunately Blaune hair bubble dye does stink a bit- it's like that ammonia hair dye smell. Even a bit more so than Prettia and Liese hair bubble dyes. However it's not unbearable or anything, I just turn the bathroom ventillation on and it helps a lot.

Here's are my starting hair color BEFORE the bubble hair dye application - the previous color was Liese bubble hair dye in Dark Chocolate (after 6 weeks). It looks ok in the photos but it's looking terrible at the roots and in real life the general color is looking a bit faded especially under sunlight. It makes the condition of my hair look worse than usual. As mentioned in my reviews for Liese and Prettia bubble hair dyes, they are quite prone to fading after about 4-6 weeks. They also have virtually no stay power on grey hair- even if it colors your grey hair in first 2 weeks, the color just fades off so the grey regrowth by week 4-6 looks even far more terrible.

This is still BEFORE the Blaune hair dye in 2AH as well.

PICs below are immediately AFTER Blaune hair dye in shade 2AH. This is after rinsing out the color with running water, then shampoo twice, then followed by the sachet of hair conditioner in the box. The hair conditioner included is interesting- I think it does something final to the hair dye to seal the color in or something, when I massaged it in I notice the conditioner takes off a bit more color so it turned the white conditioner into brown very quickly. So maybe you should all use the included conditioner before using your own other hair treatments.

This picture picks up more brown with different angle/ lighting. You can see hair is a bit more frizzy/ dry immediately after. The color is a rich brown with true dark ash finish. It's not quite blackened ash, but immediately after the color is still quite dark especially indoors. It does cover grey hair well.

This is 2AH after another wash, the following day, where I have styled my hair with a bit of curls. I received a few compliments about my hair that day (probably because I also took time to style it compared to usual , but I believe the freshness of the new color helped).

(p.s. all my pics are enlargeable, simply click to enlarge)

Overall, 5/5. The grey coverage is really nice, all the way to the roots of my hair. I don't have all that many grey hair though. It also did fantastic with the roots of my hair where there was previously an obvious shade difference between my regrowth and previous hair color, now it looks really even. 

The 2AH Ash Brown shade is not as "ash green" as the Prettia Elegant Ash shade, but very similar to Dariya Salon de Pro's 4A hair color (I have reviewed Salon de Pro's shade" 3" previously but not 4A, but I have used 4A before).  2AH is about as "dark"as Prettia's Elegant Ash just not as much green base, so if your previous hair color had more red inside, after 2AH the red might not be covered completely.

This is definitely a whole shade darker than Liese's Dark Chocolat shade too, and Liese's Dark Chocolat has more red tone inside and looks warmer.

I would be glad to try a few more Blaune hair dye colors, especially the Jewel color (quite intrigued) or Natural color shades, I shall report back about whether Blaune hair dye fades as bad as Liese and Prettia and whether the grey coverage is maintained after a few more weeks.

Below are the hair color on day 4, after about 5 washes.  All pics are enlargeable if you click on it.
This is my hair on an average day, without styling products. The color have definitely gone about half a shade lighter and showing more brown.  Now you can see there isn't so much ash green base , I'm not sure whether it's because my previous color was Liese's dark chocolat which was turning a bit red/orange so 2AH Ash Brown wasn't enough to cover that color fade.  Nevertheless it's a nice color so far, still in the neutral brown range.

This is the hair color under direct sunlight, without flash photography. There's a bit of shadow on top left hand just for comparison as that portion of hair was under the shade. Under the sun it's a bit on the cooler side of brown.

If you see any online sellers that ship internationally for a decent price for these, be sure to let me know please!


Jill Stuart Petit Nail Lacquer 110 Captive of Love valentines day 2011 polish review/ swatch

There were a few petit nail lacquers from Jill Stuart sold in valentines day in 2011. The petit nail lacquers are 8ml while full size ones are 10ml so they aren't exactly that 'petit' in content (does look small when compared to OPI though).

They feature the most gorgeous bottle design with like a jewel cut bottle surface and silver handle and even the limited edition pink heart shaped crystal studded on the handle!

I'm reviewing shade code #110, the color name is "Captive of Love". In the bottle it looks like a jelly medium pink fuchsia, not garishly fuchsia or neon but it's a brightened shade of pinky glazed medium raspberry color.

The petit nail lacquers do not come boxed, instead there's a small elastic double heart cardboard and silver elastic tie around the cap (shows ingredient and product names).

Close up: you can see the shade has no shimmers or iridescence, it's a true jelly translucent creme.

This is the limited edition heart shaped pink crystal design on the cap- different to normal full sized polishes.

Here are the swatches with 2 coats on the name. Base coat is Paul & Joe base coat and top coat is seche vite which is causing the polish to shrink a bit on the edges unfortunately (if only I can figure out where I can buy my next bottle of seche vite for less than $18AUD including shipping! I think I paid $6 for my first bottle shipped from US back when transdesign and other websites were more accessible for international shipping, so I really don't want to pay retail here lol).

All that aside, the Jill Stuart polish glides on super smoothly, one coat is uneven due to the inherent texture being of a jelly creme finish, but two coats is a lush glossy color. In real life it's a bit darker than my photos. Due to the color of this polish my photos are just a bit paler than the real color should be.

Well as you can see on the nails it goes true color to the bottle- a glossy medium fuchsia pink raspberry. It's not quite in the pink family anymore but almost closer to red. If you have OPI Chapel of Love the shade is different to this one, Chapel of love is possibly a bit lighter shade and just look different to this one altogether.

Here's an indoor photo without flash on so you can see realistically the darkness of the pink- no matter how many photos I took under the sunlight the photo usually always seem lighter than in real life.

Last one (again, flash and lighter than true color)

Overall 5/5 for wear and finish. I generally love Jill Stuart nail polishes as the pinks and neutrals are really lovely and office appropriate while the pinks and reds are always so brightening and never looks cheap or garish. This particular shade just looks so wonderful for late summer weather here in Sydney. It's not super special enough to be tracked down but not a bad one to have if you can find it for decent prices.


L'Occitane 20% Shea Butter Honey Hand Cream (miel) 2012 review

The English name of this item is just Loccitane Honey hand cream.  I purchased the 30ml size I'm SOOO utterly excited that L'Occitane is bringing back their 'Miel" or Honey line of products (and hopefully a few more items). 

For years the Loccitane Miel Honey Gentle Water is my staple pick-me-up fragrance (it has no alcohol contents so not sure if I can characterise it as a standard perfume), it's light and refreshingly sweet with the real honey scent, without that sickening fake sweetness many honey scents tend to come with, or that slightly "alcohol" whiff that is contained in most fragrances. It's just so mild and comforting, when it was discontinued I actually bought three bottles. (And thankfully I'm still on 2 bottles of backup). Sometimes I'd spray some just before I go to bed to ensure a literally sweet dream.

Did I mention the honey hand cream comes with oh-so-cute bear and honey print on the bottom?. I just had to have this.

The re-introduced Miel line actually smells just about the same. Even in the hand cream it's such a mild light sweet scent, usually the scents in hand creams tend to be exaggerated once applied on hands since the body temperature warms the handcream up and all scents become stronger. However not this one.

Ingredient list: main contents are shea butter, glycerin and coconut oil. This particular hand cream has 20% shea butter content (L'occitane tend to emphasise how much shea butter % is in each product quite specifically) 

It comes in a soft plastic tube- I like this design more so than those toothpaste foil/ metal packaging which tends to break and leak easily.

The hand cream is a soft moisturiser consistency, still creamy. It's not runny or fluid. It feels nice and gentle on the hand. It dries like what I'd expect a shea butter hand cream to be, that feeling that your hand is gently coated in a light moisturiser. While it doesn't leave the skin oily and greasy, it's not exactly 100% dry to touch either. None that will affect whatever else I'm doing though.

Overall 5/5. I'm so glad the honey miel line is back (FYI L'Occitane actually replaced the original honey line with the honey& lemon line). I can't locate this product on the Loccitane US website, maybe it is yet to be released (I got mine from Asia). I also bought the solid miel shea butter and the mum & baby shea butter in honey scent, I'm not sure what the rest of the product line contains but certainly hope some sort of fragrance version is also back.

Definitely remember to try these if you are into light sweet scents or just love honey!

Essie Not Just A Pretty Face #690 nail lacquer polish review/ swatch

Here's a review of Essie Not Just  A Prety Face.I've been giving my nails a bit of a rest for last 2 weeks just to grow them back to healthy condition a bit, hence the lack of nail reviews lately.

Essie Not Just A Pretty Face looks like a nude pink with a slight mauve undertone in the bottle. I thought it looks a bit like Essie Innocent  I reviewed previously. However I think Not Just A Pretty Face is a bit paler in shade.

On the nails with 2 coats and no top or base coat below (was in a hurry this morning lol).
It goes on the nail surprisingly on the lighter side, the consistency was a bit annoying as it looked really uneven with 1 coat and 2 coats still looked uneven, but once it dried it looks way better.   It's a true semi translucent creme shade, does not build to full opacity until 3 coats, but 2 coats give a nice coverage already. There's no shimmers or iridescence inside. I would call this a "cloudy creme" as the pigmentation in the polish seemed uneven hence it applies blotchy.

On the nails it's a soft pink nude shade, in a lot of Asian blog reviews they tend to review nailpolishes based on whether it makes your hand look "paler" or slimmer etc, once I had this color on I actually thought this shade brings out a bit of sallowness in your skintone, especially if you are Asian- I think the very slight mauvey undertone just brings out the yellowness in the skin.

However overall it's still a pretty shade- there is virtually no mauve or purple base once applied to the nails. Essie Innocent is a darker and slightly more pink version of this and with an extra tiny bit of mauve.

Overall 3.5/5. It's a nice office shade but not exactly special. I also found the consistency not so nice and application felt blotchy- maybe if I use my usual base coats it might look better.


MAC Mineralized Blush A little bit of Sunshine review/ swatch

MAC Mineralize Blush duo from in the groove collection- A little bit of Sunshine is reviewed below.

Here it is in the pan- one side is a shimmery warm golden bronze, not quite coral, the other side is a more matte looking mid tone tan. The shimmer factor is a lot less when just looking in the pan.

This picture below looks paler due to flash photography:

Swatches below

Bottom swatch is blended look. It's quite true to color compared to what is in the pan- the lighter side is a shimmery (not quite glittery but definitely visible shimmers) warm bronze with a hint of gold, while the other side is a slightly dirty looking mid tone brown tan shade. When blended it's a soft shimmery golden bronze.

The shade definitely has the tendancy to look slightly too orange and dirty on those with pale skin. You can see the tan shade is rather muddy and too brown on my skintone. I've tried using this as a contour shade but it's still too brown/ tan on my pale skin (I'm about the lightest shade or second lightest shade in most Japanese foundations, and 2nd lightest in most western brand foundations).

When used with a very light hand it works just barely for me, as a warmed coral bronze blush. However it just turns muddy quite easily without careful application or coordination with the rest of the makeup look.

Overall 3/5 for quality and 2/5 for color- it's not the most finely milled or soft blending blush (which is the common issue with anyone who doesn't love the MAC mineralized blushes). However they are fun to play with and having 2 shades in the pan is very handy.


Shiseido Elixir Lifting Foam EX I cleansing review

Here's a review of the Shiseido Elixir Lifting Foam cleansing in EX I (I is for type "light, while II is more moisturising etc, this is a common notation for Japanese skincare, same in the Sofina line).

It looks like a creamy cleanser

After adding a bit of water and working between palms it emulsifies into a thicker white paste, then adding more water and applying to the face it starts foaming up a bit more like a normal foaming cleanser.

However, it leaves a strange residue after rinsing- I really don't know whether it's the inherent property of the cleanser or whether the residue is meant to be somewhat good for the skin- it feels like an uncomfortable silicone coating as opposed to that "moisturised and cleansed" feeling a good cleanser should leave you with.

The Elixir line is an Asian exclusive Shiseido line and is intended for mature skin from the age of 40s. Maybe that's why my skin is just not appreciating this.

It has a light scent, generic soapy scent that is mild and not harsh.

In terms of removing makeup residue (I always use another makeup remover before using foaming cleansers anyway), it seems to do very little- I still find the "coating" residue incredibly uncomfortable though. This went in the bin very shortly.

Overall 0/5 and will not repurchase.