Recent Brush Pen Favorites

Since my last post on brush calligraphy, I have expanded my brush pen collection. Here are the ones I reach for the most recently.


From top to bottom: Monami Brush Pen (refill only), Daiso Refillable Brush Pen, Zebra Brush Pen Super Fine, Tombow Fudenosuke Brush Pen, Pentel Touch Brush Pen. The last three were bought from Dolces Online and the Daiso from, well, Daiso. Unfortunately I have forgotten where I bought the Monami Brush Pen (I got a set of ten, different colors).


The tips of the pens are mostly on the fine/super fine range, except for the Daiso brush pen which I’d categorize as broad. All of them except again for Daiso are on the stiff side.


Here’s a writing sample of all five, on a Rhodia N11 pad. If I were asked, I’d say that my favorite would be a toss up between the Zebra and the Tombow brush pens. They have just the right amount of stiffness that gives a good line variation without a lot of effort, and are simply a joy to write with.

What I Packed: Crafting (Caribbean 2015)

This is the last of my What I Packed series for my latest Caribbean trip. I can’t go on without talking about what I brought for my crafting and writing needs.


Most of these are packed in my checked in luggage, especially the green mesh bag as it contains my scissors. It had a too-long blade which means I can’t bring it with me on the plane cabin. In any case let’s start with the notebooks.


As you can see I brought a lot. Clockwise from the top left: Alunsina Kislap Traveler’s Notebook (which came with me in my purse), an Acryl Ringnotes refillable notebook (I think this is A5 sized) which was for my work notes, a black lined Moleskine notebook which is my personal journal, a black dot-grid Copelle notebook which is my art journal, and two unopened sets of Venzi Flexy2 notebook refills for my traveler’s notebook. Only the first three were actually used. I had underestimated just how busy I was going to be in this trip that I simply didn’t have the time to try any lettering (in the Copelle) or do as much journaling as I wanted. Let’s move on to my pencil cases.


This first one is the pencil case part of the Filed pen roll I recently bought. In it are, from the top: three Frixion stamps, a magnetic bookmark, a black Pilot G-Tec-C3, a black Pilot Drawing Pen, a black Daiso marker, three colored Frixion Point pens, a Faber-Castell eraser pen, a Staedtler pencil, and an extendable plastic ruler. Again, most of these were left unused, except for the Frixion pens, the magnetic bookmark, and the G-Tec.


The other pencil case is a very slim Bear Huggs pencil case and contained only three Frixion Point pens. These came with me in my purse, and was used mainly with my traveler’s notebook. Lastly, we come to my craft bag.


This is a green mesh bag that I borrowed from my daughter. In it are a pack of stickers (most are from Toys R Us), my long-bladed scissors, seven rolls of medium-width washi tape, six rolls of slim washi tape, and three planner clips. Now these were all used, I think, since I did have time to play with my planner. As I mentioned earlier, these were packed in my checked in bag because of the scissors.

There we have it! Thanks for checking out what I packed in my trip!

FOTD: New Year, New Look

One of the very first things my family did to greet the new year is to have a hair cut. Yes, all three of us! We were all in dire need of a cut so we all trooped to our favorite salon (Bench Fix Lab, Trinoma) and ordered a family-sized haircut (there’s no such thing; but the same stylist did the cut for all three of us). My husband has been clamoring for short hair for me for quite some time, and I went for it!


Chopped most of it off, and it actually feels great! One of the funniest reactions I got to the cut was that they assumed something bad happened to me. Does it have to be bad to want a change? I love my new hair, and I hope you do too!


Honestly here I have not really styled it as much, and a bunch of it went its usual fly away way. This is my standard corporate look (as per usual), with the addition of some soft eyeliner. I also misplaced my eyeglasses and have to use an old pair.


It looks much better in this obligatory car shot (better lighting?), although that fly away strand is just camouflaged by the headrest. Here are the makeup I used:

Happy Skin SS Creme, Wet n Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Palette in Petal Pusher, Daiso Eyebrow Pencil, VMV Hypoallergenics Ooh La Lash Mascara, Pixy Ultimate Cake, K-Palette 1 Day Magic 3D Palette, Catrice Absolute Eye Color in Mud Spencer and Coralle Hill, K-Palette Real Lasting Eyebrow Mascara in Natural Brown, Clinique Long Last Lipstick in All Heart


FOTD: Five Minute Face

One of my criteria for packing an everyday makeup bag is that the contents should allow me to put on a face in ten minutes or less. This is a recent look I did that I accomplished in five minutes. Note that this five minutes does not include any prep work (moisturizing, cleansing, etc).


And here are the items I used:

Daiso Eyebrow Pencil; VMV Hypoallergenics Oooh La Lash Volumizing Mascara; Etude House Proof10 Eye Primer; Catrice Absolute Eye Color in Mud Spencer and Coralle Hill; Catrice Matt Mousse Makeup; Canmake Cheek&Cheek; Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Lollipop

One of the key techniques for accomplishing a speedy look is to use the one-shadow trick. I used the dark bronze shade in my Catrice palette (swatches here) all over my lid and blended it into the crease to create depth.


I’m really liking this mascara so far! The wand is the thin kind that I like, and the formula isn’t goopy. I look like I actually have lashes! And if I wanted more drama, I would pile on more layers of mascara and that would be okay! (as it is, this is a work-appropriate look)


Review: Daiso Japan Eyebrow Pencil

I’m definitely obsessed with eyebrows recently, and I’m trying very hard not to accumulate too many eyebrow products as I only have two brows! One of my recent acquisitions in one of my moments of weakness is this Daiso Japan Eyebrow Pencil. Actually, I’m not quite sure if that is the brand of this pencil, as for some reason I threw away its packaging. Absent-minded blogger moment there.


It’s a very simple product really. It’s an eyebrow pencil in a brown shade basically. The pencil is pink with brown dots, and it has a silver cap. I really like the tiny rose detail. It reflects what I usually associate with Japanese products, the cuteness.


At the back is some stuff written in Japanese. The interesting part here is that this pencil has 1.7 grams of product (which may or may not include the actual wood of the pencil itself), and that it’s made in Korea.


The pencil tip itself looks like any regular writing pencil. It has a hard “lead” that works pretty well with brows. It’s not an automatic pencil, which means it has to be sharpened with a sharpener when it loses that nice pointy tip.


This arm swatch doesn’t give it justice, I think. Here it looks like it’s yet another light brown shade, which will probably not suit the brows of someone with undyed hair.


On my brows though it’s another matter. It looks pretty dark and actually matches my hair color. It’s quite easy to use as well, and scratches the lazy girl itch handily. Good eyebrow pencils can draw and complete the brow the fastest (compared to eyebrow powders and mascaras). On a lazy day I’ll just draw a hasty brow and put on a lip balm and I’m out the door in five minutes! Quite convenient really.

This pencil set me back by just Php85.

Pros: convenient; very affordable; matches my hair color

Cons: needs to be sharpened; unknown brand

Daiso Japan has many branches! The one I’m most familiar with are Glorietta 3, Robinson’s Galleria, and Trinoma. Connect with them at their Facebook page and Twitter.

Haul and Swatches: Daiso Japan Cosmetics

After taking you on a virtual tour of the new branch of Daiso Japan at Glorietta 3, let me show you the cosmetics I bought from there. Here are the items I bought, each at Php88.

Warning: This post is image heavy!


Let’s start off with the lipsticks. I bought two shades of Winmax Pearl Rouge Lipsticks: [96] Deep Rose and [98] Cherry Pink. These are the two darkest shades among the five available at Daiso Japan. As you can see, it comes sealed in these clear plastic boxes attached to the cardboard. You can see the actual product extended to its maximum length. On the very bottom right you will see that the amount of product is 3 grams.


At the back is a lot of information, fortunately with english translation at the bottom half.


Here is a close up on the list of ingredients.


Here are the actual tubes. They are basically a navy blue and gold tube, of very flimsy plastic. That clear tube on top is included only to allow the buyer to see the actual product while sealed. You have to set it aside and use the actual caps, which is here shown beside them.


Here is how it looks like closed. That gold band is a huge fingerprint magnet. It otherwise looks sturdy, and the cap seals properly and won’t fall out by itself in your bag.


The actual lipstick product looks just as flimsy as the rest of the tube. Make sure to double check the one you are purchasing, as I’ve seen some tubes with already-damaged product in the store.


The bottom of the tubes have some information but all of it is in kanji/kana, with a big red number stamped on top of them. The #3 tube is the Deep Rose while the #5 is the Cherry Pink; you can tell by the code number “5207-#” right under the “Winmax Pearl Rouge”, and this corresponds to the one printed on the left side of the back of the card (check out the third photo above). It’s a little confusing, and they should have just printed the shade name here somewhere instead of using some number code.


And here are the arm swatches. You’ll notice I didn’t bother to label them, because they look exactly alike on this swatch. It’s a little unfortunate, because I had assumed that one of them will be more plum and the other more coral.


It does look different on the lips though, which is a happy conclusion. The one on the left is the #5/Cherry Pink/98, and the one on the right is #3/Deep Rose/96. Cherry Pink really leans more towards berry, while Deep Rose is almost a nude shade on me, but is a dusty plum. It applies quite easily on primed lips (ie I applied lip balm beforehand) and lasts a weak 3 hours without eating or drinking.


Next item we have is the Ellefar Princess Duo Color Cheek in Strawberry [61]. It comes sealed in this plastic covering which is attached to the cardboard backing. It has a little tab on the upper right, which makes opening it a lot easier. The other available shade in Daiso is Orange, which I decided to skip since I just got the Canmake Cheek&Cheek in Orange Bouquet.


This is the back of the cardboard, which thankfully also comes with english translation at the bottom. There is also a diagram on the right side which shows where to apply which color.


Here is a close up of the ingredient list. Note that the amount of product this has is 5 grams.


And here it is, free of the plastic wrapping. The compact is made of black plastic with a clear window so you can see the shades of the product. The name of the product is printed in reflective silver, along with a rose applique which was a nice touch.


Opened up, you can see that the compact actually comes with a mirror and a brush. The mirror is tiny, but it works in a pinch. The brush looks weak and is very thin, and I probably will not use this ever. The blush itself comes in two shades: a bright pink in the bigger pan on the left, and a lighter, more glittery pink on the slightly smaller right pan. I gather that this second shade is for highlighting to create a more dimensional effect on the cheeks.


Here is the arm swatch. These are about two swipes of product each using my finger. The left shade comes out as a medium pink and the right shade is almost entirely made up of pinkish sparkle. I don’t have an actual cheek swatch of this yet, because honestly I am using the other one exclusively these days.


The fourth item I bought at Daiso Japan is this Special! Mix Cheek Powder in Magic Color (No.2). It again comes sealed in plastic wrap, but its cardboard backing is much smaller. This Magic Color variant’s shades are mostly pinks and purples. The other variant, Cute Color, comes in mostly peaches and oranges.


This is the back of that tiny cardboard on top. Again it’s great that there’s english translation there, and you can easily read the list of ingredients as well. Here is where it tells us that this compact contains 6 grams of product.


Here it is, freed of the plastic wrap. It comes in a nice sturdy plastic compact, with a clear cap so you can see all four shades of the blush. The cover has some fancy gold print on it which I really like.


When opened, it’s basically just the blush itself. There is no mirror nor brush, which isn’t such a big deal to me to be honest. There are also no partitions between the four shades, which encourages blending and combining. I use my Artist Studio blush brush or Charm blush brush to apply this.


Here are the arm swatches of all four shades, clockwise starting from the upper left. Again, I used my fingers to swipe two layers. Upper left is a very light candy pink, a highlight shade, similar to the Ellefar one above. Upper right is a shimmery pink that’s a little darker than the highlight shade. The lower right shade is a strong coral pink. Lower left is a magenta-leaning purple.


This pair of looks uses some combination of this mix cheek powder. It blends quite well and doesn’t look as intense as the arm swatch, even the coral one. This is all I’ve been using recently and I really love this! I want to get the other variants!


There you have it! Each of these items costs only Php88 which is such great value!

New Daiso Japan at Glorietta 3

My favorite “dollar” store is now in Makati! Daiso Japan (formerly Saizen) has opened a branch at Glorietta 3, and it may possibly be the biggest one yet! It’s a toss up between this and the Robinsons Galleria branch, but both stores are pretty big. The moment I heard that they’re open for business, I took the time to visit and see what they have to offer. Let me show you some things I was interested in. Please remember that almost everything in this store costs Php88 each.

This post is image heavy!


First let’s start with things related to food. Did I mention I am also a food blogger/bento enthusiast? I no longer update that blog as frequently but I am still quite interested in cooking and baking. Check out my food-related finds. First up: coffee-filters! I am a huge coffee addict and this shelf sent me in an excited little dance. I’ve finally found the perfect sized filter for my one-person coffeemaker! I don’t know the difference between the white and the brown filters (bleached vs unbleached) but I’ve always used white filters so that’s what I got.


Here is a series of shelves that carry kitchen utensils and tools. I’ve bought some of these before and they work quite well.


Cookie cutters! This branch seems to have a huge variety of cutters that can also be used for things beyond cookies. I’ve used some of these metal ones in my bentos before (to cut veggies and cheese), and of course for the purpose of actually cutting cookie shapes.


Daiso also has all your food storage needs! Shown here are various plastic and metal containers that are food safe. They have a separate shelf for non-food storage options.


I found myself in need of new ice trays so I snagged a couple of these. They also have other ice-related accessories like an ice scoop and popsicle molds.


Bento boxes are also plentiful! Check out all of these, in various sizes too. Most of these bento boxes will indicate in milliliters how much food they can contain.


Random other stuff

Pardon me but I put the “other” stuff in the middle of the food-related ones and the beauty ones. Here are the things I found interesting. First one is this shelf of floor mop wipes. I have a Swiffer (see photo for reference), but sometimes it’s difficult to find refills of the wet and dry wipes. I’m quite ecstatic to find that Daiso carries their own version of both wet and dry wipes! The pink one (with 45 sheets) is the dry and the blue one on the lower right (with 30 sheets) is the wet. The other ones in the photo are generic kitchen cleaners. [PS It’s really helpful to know how to read kana so you know which one to buy.]


Feeling hot this summer? These stylish and cute fans will definitely come in handy. The ones captured in this photo are the usual folding fans (portable!) but they also have the abaniko-style fans at the bottom.


This is but a small glimpse at the extensive craft selections at Daiso! Here we have various notebooks, a wide selection of washi tapes, origami paper, scrapbook materials, and printed cardboard containers. I forgot to take a photo but they also have a shelf just for writing materials! I’m definitely going back for a craft haul.



I’ve saved the best for last! Daiso’s beauty section did not disappoint, although they did have a slightly different selection compared to the Robinsons and Trinoma branches. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but there are absolutely zero testers so you will be buying blind. Check out the internet for swatches. Anyway! First up we have the shelf containing powder foundations and blushes. They have various options and shades for the foundations, as well as several options for blushes.


Close up of two shade options for the Ellefar Princess Duo Color Cheek: Orange and Strawberry. I bought one of these, which I will show you along with the swatches in a separate post.


Close up of another couple of blushers called Special! Mix Cheek Powder, in Magic color and Cute color. These are pretty cool as they have four shades in a single pan, and you can mix and match! I also bought one of these.


Here is the shelf containing falsies and lip products. There seem to be a wide selection of falsies available, as well as eyelash glue. For lip products there are several balms, lip glosses, and a couple of brands of lipstick (Ellefar and Winmax).


But the Winmax lipsticks come in five shades! The shades they have available are Cherry Pink, Deep Rose, Coral Orange, Beige Pink, and Peach. To be honest I am quite wary of Daiso lipsticks based on my prior not-so-happy experience, but I couldn’t really resist. I got two of these. :sheepish grin:


One of my favorite Daiso spots is this shelf, filled with eyeshadow palettes of course! My much-loved Ellefar Princess quads are here, as well as some new palettes I haven’t tried. There are also some glitter eyeshadow sticks on the left side. It was really hard to resist getting some of these!


Check out this Special! Colorful Eye Shadow quads! These two palettes are the ones I was interested in the most, the Golden and the Brown. I was able to resist buying any palettes that day, so no upcoming swatches of these. Yet. (um)


Finally we have the shelf containing the other eye products. There’s some mascara and mascara bases, some liquid eyeliners, and a lot (as in a lot!) of eyebrow products! As I have already purchased one of those dual-ended eyebrow pens and a pot of liquid eyeliner, I was able to resist getting anything from this shelf. Still terribly tempting though!


There you have it! Daiso is such a huge wasteland and money/time sink for me, but it makes me super happy. I’m looking forward to my next visit!

Daiso Japan Website (international) and Twitter