10 Packing Tips – Win A Beauty Travel Case From Hideo Wakamatsu

This giveaway was sponsored by the Hideo Wakamatsu Australia.

For more information on sponsored posts check out this FAQ.

Omg 2 competitions in a week? That’s pretty awesome! This week is giveaway week and next week is craft tutorial week, I have a lot of sewing things coming up now that I’m home for a little bit 😀

Before we get to the winning part, I wanted to show you guys some packing tips using my new Hideo Wakamatsu luggage set because I often get questions about this kind of thing.

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Here’s the video I made about it while we were away!

I have been lusting after Hideo Wakamatsu suitcases for far too long as I first saw them in 2007 when I researched luggage for a trip to Japan. I was basically over the moon when they offered to send me a suitcase and the matching beauty case for review!

The brand is based in Japan/USA and the new collections come out here around twice a year. If you’ve ever seen the typical Japanese school backpacks (aka Randoseru) you’ve seen one of his family’s designs.

The set arrived in boxes and was sent via courier. Everything was wrapped up in plastic too. When James saw it unwrapped the first thing he said was “Well, everyone will know which one yours is!”. I’m sure there are statistics somewhere to prove this wrong but I also (probably delusionally) think having an awesome design like this would deter thieves because it’s so easy to spot.

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After unwrapping they look even prettier in person!

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I was sent the Sakura 62cm TSA Check-In Trolley and the Sakura Beauty Case. The pretty pink Saukra is the most popular in the range but f you’re into wilder things I suggest you have a look at the Safari range because it’s animal print!

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This is going to sound dumb but my favorite feature of the range (other than how adorable the print is) is the wheels. I don’t think you know pain until you’ve tried to drag a 23kg soft shell 2 wheeled suitcase which has a broken metal arm poking out through an airport. This moves like a cloud in comparison. My second favorite feature is the soft return spring on the handle which makes it go down slowly like those self-closing drawers from Ikea! It’s the little things….

This one weighs 5.4kg empty so if weight limits are an issue in your area I would take a look at the Tarpaulin range which doesn’t have the girly design but it is only 2.7kg so yay extra shopping space room. The Smart is another one to check out if you’re looking for shopping space because it’s foldable and can be put inside a suitcase on the way there and expanded on the way home for shopping – check out this video. It’s not available in Australia yet but it will be here in around August.

I would still recommend anything with 4 wheels, I actually pushed it through the airport (with 18kgs of clothes inside) using two fingers. Seriously.

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Not being weighted down by luggage when you are running through an airport? Best. Feeling. Ever.

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James has the worst airport luck ever so I try to minimize any potential problems. We call it McDuff luck. Seriously, I don’t think there has been a time we’ve flown in the last 6 years where there hasn’t been some kind of problem. He always gets security scanned too, I think he looks a bit dodgy  😉

Aaanyway… the whole range comes with TSA locks so if Customs officials want to look inside and search it’s relatively quick and painless.

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I found the snap locks to be very convenient and much quicker than a zip especially if like me, you tend to over pack things!

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It’s much easier to sit on the suitcase and snap lock it than it is to have to zip round the edge and try to force the zip when it’s caught or broken.

 

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The inside of the case comes with a lot of interesting gadgets. I don’t know if all of my previous luggage has just been super old but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one which has so many extra functions *_*

It opens completely flat which makes packing each half very easy but I’ve propped it up for the photos so you can see what’s going on.

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Each side is closed up with it’s own divider and each divider has a purpose. The top one is a garment holder and is detachable so you can take it out at the hotel. It even has it’s own little fold up coat hanger which clips into the top of the case to keep things neat.

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I actually used this to hang belts, scarves and stockings because they are the little things that I tend to have to dig for and can never find at the bottom of my luggage.

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The other side of the garment bag has a mesh zip section which I used for cables and chargers. That whole thing clips up to the top of the bag to hold everything in place and keep it safe.

I don’t think it was actually part of the suitcase but the paperwork came in a clear zip reusable bag which I intend to use for carry on liquids on future trips. For this trip I used to to hold our beach things. Everything has a use!

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The top of the coat hanger can fold down and actually grip on to the top of the bag so it’s locked in place too.

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On the other side the divider is a mesh sleeve which I used to hold flat things like notebooks and art suplies.

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This wouldn’t be a good review without pointing out things that I didn’t like. The only thing I had problems with while we were traveling was pressing the button to pull up the handle on the suitcase. My nails are ridiculously long at the moment so I couldn’t fit my fingers in XD I had the same issue with opening the beauty case until I realised I could actually use the plastic part of the keys in place of my fingers!

 

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Overall opinion of the suitcase? After traveling with it I can honestly say I love it. I’ve had a love affair with it from afar but I was a little worried that I’d built up unrealistic expectations. I hadn’t, it was totally awesome. I think the middle size is perfect for both domestic and international flights (especially with the lower weight limits these days). Completely stuffed full it didn’t exceed 18kgs. If it was an extended international trip I might look at the larger size but this managed to work for both James and I on a 10 day trip so I’m very happy with it. Pulling it was a breeze, I love the gadgets and features, definite recommend.

I am planning to customise it with my monogram on the front to make it even more of a deterrent to thieves ;D

Lottie seemed to think it was her new house -_-

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Now the beauty case!

Obviously I love the design, I also love that it has a lock and a combination code.

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Inside there were instructions, a pull out tray, a foldable mirror and stickers which you can spell out your name with.

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The tray clips into the case or can be clipped to the front for easier access. The mirror then clips on to the tray and can be angled to whatever is easiest.

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Inside were some elastic straps at the back to hold small items like jewellery. The lining is fabric and wipes clean of make up/spills quite easily.

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I loved the mirror and the removable tray, the lighting in the bathroom of the place we were staying sucked so it made it a lot easier to just carry everything to the balcony and do my make up and hair there! The main compartment is huge too. I easily fit my hair appliances, make up, skin care and a LOT of accessories in there. The sturdy construction and lock meant that I felt comfortable enough to actually check this in separately which was good because I had packed the suitcase so full there was no room XD

The only thing I wasn’t 100% on about the beauty case was that you couldn’t really keep small items in the tray while traveling. I had it checked in on the way up and of course it was shaken around and I’m sure probably stood upside down so when we got to the other size all of the small items had scattered everywhere. I solved this by wrapping a small scarf around the tray on the way back to secure everything inside. Easy!

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Over all thoughts on the beauty case? Love it too. I love that it’s a matching set, I love that I can check it in separately to save room for more clothes and I love that the space inside is so versatile. The mirror is super handy and the case is extremely strong so I don’t need to worry about damaging the things inside or anything getting crushed.

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Sorry Lottie, you can’t come with us =(

So what you’ve all been waiting for:

COMPETITION TIME!

Hideo Wakamatsu Australia have very kindly offered a Sakura Beauty Case  (value AU$129) just like mine for me to give away to you guys!

To enter, leave a comment on this post with your favourite Hideo Wakamatsu product and tell me your favourite tip for traveling in style. The more creative the better!

Here are the terms:

  • Competition will be open from now until midnight AEST on the 19th of April 2013
  • Winners will be contacted via email and must respond within 7 days to claim the prize
  • You may only enter once
  • Entries are open to Australian residents only!
  • Entries will be judged on creativity
  • The case will be sent to you via courier so you must give an address where you will be available to pick it up
  • The rest of the standard terms and conditions over here.
Thank you very much to Hideo Wakamatsu Australia and I can’t wait to read all of your entries!

 

 

A Hiatus

Morning everyone!

Just a quick note to let you know about my absence. I’ve been gone from this section of the blog for quite a while sorry!

Recently my life and schedule has changed to include a lot of new things including more travel, a possible big move and of course my lovely little puppy Lottie. With this year up in the air I’m reorganising my life both online and offline. I am going to concentrate on what I’m good at and do more things that make me happy.

So what does that mean?

I most likely won’t be posting here for a while longer. I may return again later this year but at the moment I just don’t have the time or motivation to review products in this format. Ironically I’ve just started hitting pan on a lot of products I had wanted to review XD

I have been toying with the idea of doing product reviews on my Youtube channel and if I do I’ll be sure to post them here too for you. Either way, I will be updating my terms, conditions and PR information to reflect everything as soon as I have finalised exactly what I want to do.

In the mean time please come and find me over here:

Blog: http://www.violetlebeaux.com

Tumblr: http://cuties.violetlebeaux.com

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/violetlebeaux

Twitter: http://twitter.com/violetlebeaux

Instagram: http://instagram.com/violetlebeaux

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/violetlebeaux

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Violet-LeBeaux-Tales-of-an-Ingenue/287082084640461

Either way, I know this is going to be an awesome year and everything that’s happening is going to be for the best! Thanks for all of you being here with me so far and can’t wait to talk to you all again soon!

<3 Violet

Sailor Pin Up Girl For A Day? Smiffy’s Costume Review

Phew with all of the Home Sweet Home posts out of the way we can get into to some other things!

Recently I was contacted by Smiffy’s Costumes to try out some of their outfits.

A chance to dress up? Why yes please! So let’s get into the review and the fun part: sailor pin up style photos!

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Background:

Smiffys.com.au is an online costume shop based in Australia. They offer a large range of costumes, wigs, accessories and the like in their online store. Their bio:

Smiffy’s Australia. We create and design fun and fabulous costumes for that perfect night out. We are dedicated to providing fancy dress fun for all occasions and have the scariest Halloween ideas. If you’re looking for themes ranging from 20’s Razzle to the Psychedelic 60’s then look no further than Smiffy’s. We have costumes covering all styles from sexy, scary, cute, to the downright outrageous. Smiffy’s are experts when it comes to Carnival and Christmas fancy dress and we never disappoint. Whatever you require, if you’re stuck for ideas, we are guaranteed to deliver.

Shipping:

The website states that all costumes leave the warehouse within 24 hours. My package was no exception and was posted right away. Postage itself took a little longer than usual because it was right before Christmas and my post office was pretty overrun with crazy. It arrived in a satchel and was packaged securely.

The Costumes:

I ordered the “Fever Sailor Costume” priced at $35.96 and James ordered the “Sailor Captain Costume” which is currently out of stock. I would say that the prices are fairly average of Australian costume shops.

I picked mine because I’m not really into the “sexy” versions of things and it looked close to something I could wear to a party or actually incorporate into my every day wardrobe. The dress is made from a light stretchy fabric and was a little big for me. I am generally an AU size 6-8 so I tailored it a bit, if I was ordering again I would go down a size for a perfect fit. Once I took it in a bit I certainly had the pin up look 😉

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We picked James’ costume as we will be appearing in a series of Cinderella themed videos soon and James will be playing the Prince. This one was the closest to the Prince’s military look that was on the store at the time. Also, who can say no to a man in uniform?

James’ outfit also was a bit big but I’m going to take it in before he has to be a Prince. His costume is made from a thicker synthetic drill fabric which doesn’t crease easily and retains it’s shape well. It came with gloves and a hat too (which I have stolen).

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So photos are much more interesting than words yes?

I was wearing a cardigan I bought from Ice for $3 and shoes from City Beach many years ago. With the right accessories I would definitely wear this again. I borrowed the hat that came with James’ costume for these photos too.

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Verdict:

I like that the shipping is pretty quick, when ordering at a non-Christmas time of the year I imagine it would be extremely easy to get a costume for a party fairy last minute. The costumes were as pictured on the website and there is a very wide selection. I would double check measurements before ordering for the perfect fit but it was extremely fun to play dress up like this 😉 I had so much fun I might have to do it again sometime soon!

Illamasqua Precision Ink Eyeliner Review – All Time Favorites

It’s been a long time since I’ve done any make up reviews here but I want to start sharing my all time favorite products. I’m saving reviews for stuff I’m just testing for the Beauty Review area of the website but things I love and use every day are going to go here so I can share them properly.

I started using liquid eyeliners recently because they’re a lot more convenient than my beloved gel liners to travel with and keep in my handbag. I wanted to find the ultimate liner, something that stayed on perfectly, didn’t smudge or take forever to dry.

My plan for this post was to test out 5-10 liners and put them in an Iron Chef style showdown. There was going to be a proper battle and everything where I duelled with myself to find the ultimate winner.

Then I tested the first one I was sent and realised that I didn’t need to keep looking because it ticked everything on my check list >_< Yay?

I guess I’ll be saving my Ultimate Iron Chef Make Up Battle for something else then XD

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So the product I’ve been using for these last few months is Illamasqua’s Precision Ink in Abyss.Illamasqua-Liquid-Eyeliner-Review-VioletLeBeaux-0273

So review.

I love the applicator, it’s a felt tip which dips into the ink bottle. I love felt applicators because their pointed shape allows very easy drawing for those who aren’t experienced with liquid liner. Liquid can be a bit more tricky to control than gel or pencil so it’s good to have an applicator which basically does the work for you. Because it’s a tapered edge you can just press it on in the shape you want rather than having to actually draw and run the risk of bumps. This also makes wings and flicks much easier to draw evenly as you just need to press the applicator on in that angle.

The applicator. Excuse the photo, I was doing my best Iron Chef intro. Apparently this cuisine will reign supreme.

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And close ups of it applied.

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The colour is extremely opaque and goes on very easily.

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I find it easy to do very thick lines and very thin lines.

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It stays on all day very well and doesn’t flake. I do debate it being “waterproof” while it doesn’t run in water I wouldn’t call it waterproof because it just rubs off with water for removal. I love that it does just clean off with water because it’s good for me at night time but I just probably wouldn’t describe it as waterproof XD

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That’s pretty much the only bone I have to pick with this liner though. I’ve used it daily for around 2 months and I LOVE it. It’s on my Holy Grail list. Illamasqua-Liquid-Eyeliner-Review-VioletLeBeaux-0307

Verdict: Goes on smooth, easy to apply, great applicator, doesn’t budge during the day, extreme love, don’t eat it.

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And that’s the first of my all time favorite products 😀 Hope you enjoyed!

Bergamot Bunny Spreadshirt T-Shirt Review

YAY!!! My Bergamot shirts arrived!

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These have been a long time coming so excuse me a little while I camwhore a bit to celebrate 😉

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I think Bergamot is pretty happy with them!Bergamot-Bunny-Shirt-Review-0485

Down to the nitty gritty, as you guys know there are no punches pulled in my reviews… even for my own products so let’s get in to it.

The shirts are designed by me and printed through Spreadshirt. You can visit the Bergamot apparel store here.

I ordered 4 shirts for this first lot to test out the quality and shipping times.

The order process was fairly simple but I already have a spreadshirt account so this may change if you don’t. I was able to pick the sizes and colours and international shipping was calculated automatically.

The shipping prices were a bit expensive. For orders under $49.99 it’s $13.99 to Aus but up to $99 it’s $23.99. Considering it took around 2 and a half weeks to arrive I think that’s over priced. If it was shipped via EMS with tracking I think the prices would be fine but for regular airmail it’s too much. That said the prices within the US are quite reasonable so it just made me want to find a separate Australian company to deal with orders on this side of the world. That or possibly order in wholesale quantities and sell them myself here. I’m looking at other options so all suggestions are welcome!

The shirts came bundled in a plastic bag:

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There was 1 care instruction sheet.

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I ordered 2 of the V-Neck version, 1 long sleeve and 1 classic. I only got to keep one of the v-neck versions though because the others were gifts ;_;

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So one by one, this is the v-neck:

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I ordered a small out of habit without checking the actual measurements. I’d say that the sizes don’t really correspond to Australian sizes at all and this is really more of a medium than small, you can see how big it is on me in the photos. I’m planning to order some more so I’ll measure and test out other sizes then too.

Seeing as this is the only one I’ve gotten to wear for an extended period of time I have more opinions on it.

The fabric on this was quite thin and drapable (totally a word). Not thin as in low quality but that kind of thinner t-shirt material that hangs nicely. The neck hole was a little smaller than I was expecting but not so small as to be irritating when worn. It’s not transparent so I don’t need to worry about layering and the colours on the print were quite vibrant.

I’ve worn it several times now and it was very comfortable especially after the first wash softened it up completely. I want buy more of this one to use in different Bergamot t-shirt surgery projects, I think it would be a really cute dress!

Overall I’m quite happy with this but I do now want to add in a much more fitted option to the store too because that’s how I prefer my shirts.

Each of the shirt styles had a different manufacturer and you can see more information on the tag shots.

The tag:

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And  a close up shot of the print. You can see the colours and the crispness of the print lines. My camera blurred the edges a bit trying to be fancy but in real life it’s quite crisp.

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The long sleeve shirt:

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This one was a medium and it was much bigger than the V-Neck. The fabric was slightly thinner so I don’t think this would keep you very warm in winter but it would probably good for layering or in Spring/Autumn when the weather can’t make up it’s mind. The fabric was the softest out of all of them to the touch.

This one was a gift so I didn’t get to wear it.

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The classic version:

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This was the thickest fabric out of the lot and it’s very much a standard shirt. This one was a small too and was around the same size as the v-neck.

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So overall thoughts?

I’m happy with what I ordered, the printing looks good, the shirts drape cutely and the design came out how I had envisioned it in my head. The shirts are comfortable and soft.

The shapes are good for standard t-shirts and I’ll be adding in an option for a more fitted shirt now too because that’s my personal preference. I’ll also look for both some smaller and larger sizing options so everyone has a good selection to choose from.

I’m not happy with the shipping charges so I’m going to look for local options as well so people on this side of the world don’t need to worry about crazy prices but I think that within the USA this is a good option for the moment.

I’ll be ordering again in the mean time so we could always do a group order and split the shipping if anyone wants to 😀

Final verdict: DO WANT

And because this is something I’ve been waiting for, have some more photos!

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Thanks for reading and make sure you check out the Bergamot Apparel Store here, more designs are coming soon and Sir Reginald just got his first one!

 

New From Illamasqua About Their Australian Prices!

Good news for Australians who are sick of paying more for the same products! Here is the press release:

Since Illamasqua entered the Australian market in 2009 there has been frustration at the inflated pricing of cosmetic products compared to the rest of the world. For too long now, Australian consumers have been forced to pay extortionate prices for beauty products.

So we have a clear message: We are making a stand against the ruthless global giants of cosmetics, who abuse the system by forcing customers to pay up to 61% more than UK prices.

It’s not fair. It’s not right. And it’s not how we want to treat our customers – so it falls to us to make a stand! We are determined to bring a lasting change to the Australian beauty industry by slashing our prices across the entire range and bringing them in-line with the rest of the world.

“As an independent brand we have made it our objective to challenge those aspects of the cosmetics sector that are clearly wrong but remain in place due to the dominance of the cartels who it suits financially to leave things as they have always been.

“The Australian price premium is simply wrong and at best unjustifiable it today’s world. Any principle worth having can come at a cost to uphold.

“For us we are happy to place our future success in Australia in the hands if the Australian cosmetics buyers. If they back us and support our price decrease, I’m sure other brands will be forced to follow suit. The end game could see the Australian beauty buyer better off by thousands of dollars – within a year or two!” Julian Kynaston, Illamasqua Founder

Illamasqua will lead the way in a fight against the greed and exploitation of the beauty establishment in Australia. But first we need you to demonstrate to the industry that if we can make this change happen, you’ll commit to buying our products.

Say ‘Hell no!’ to ruthless global cosmetic giants, and ‘Hell yeah!’ to Illamasqua and a fair price for beauty!

Spread our campaign and help us make as much noise as possible.

SO SIGN OUR PETITION, JOIN OUR MOVEMENT, START A BIG BALL ROLLING AND BRING ABOUT REAL CHANGE. BECAUSE THE FACT IS, WE CAN ONLY DO THIS WITH YOUR SUPPORT.

 

Here’s the video!

I’m excited to see where this goes because I’m sick of paying more for the same products.

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