Featured Slider

Showing posts with label Japan. Show all posts

Mellsavon á nu Body Wash

Mellsavon á nu Body Wash   980yen

Sometimes Japanese brands take the beauty products to the next level. There are many 'weird and gimmicky but unique and interesting' products in Japan that often WOW my friends and clients from overseas. Mellsavon á nu Body Wash is definitely one of them, because I am pretty sure this kind of product does not exist in most countries -except Korea, they come up with crazy ideas!

What makes this shower gel special is the packaging. Did you notice that the product is not in a typical plastic bottle but in a plastic bag instead?

That is the secret. The product comes like this -shower gel in a plastic bag, a pump and a plastic frame. So the idea is that the formula is in an air-tight bag so that it never touches the air, which made them possible to put multiple active ingredients that are prone to oxidation such as rice bran oil, apple derived polyphénol, olive oil, and vitamins.

The shower gel comes in two different types, one is Smooth Moisture which is the one I've got, and another is Rich Moisture in a pick packaging. They also have two types of face wash that have a special packaging to prevent oxidation.

You simply remove the sticker on the plastic bag, set it in the plastic frame and insert the pump. Since both the pump and the plastic bag are specially made, air does not get into the bag.

Smooth Moisture feels moisturising on the skin yet very refreshing -I imagine Rich Moisture is even more moisturising as the name suggests. The scent is supposed to be a blend of Ylang Ylang and Mimosa, but to me it smells like grapefruits...maybe the yellow packaging is influencing my nose.

I like how refreshing it feels, especially now that it's getting hotter and more humid, I like this kind of shower gel. It does not leave my skin feel tight which is also good. More than anything, I like the idea as it's very unique. Japanese people like air-tight packaging as now even soy sauce comes in it!

Flowfushi Mote-Liner in Cherry Cheek

Flowfushi Mote-Liner in Cherry Cheek  1,500yen

Whenever I take friends or clients from overseas to my favourite drugstore in Harajuku, Ainz-Tulpe, 90% of them would ask me 'Is this a good brand?' with a mascara or eyeliner from Flowfushi in hand. You would spot Flowfushi everywhere in Japan and it's hard to ignore. I believe they are one of the best-selling Japanese drugstore brands, and they have a very good reputation.

However, I always answer 'It's popular but I personally am not a big fan' to the question, because that's the truth. They are selling well but I haven't had a good experience with their products. First of all, let me tell you something about their best-selling Mote Mascara. They have 4 different types of mascara and one mascara base. I've tried a couple of them but the only one I kind of liked was the base. It's blue which makes your eyes standout, and I liked the unique concept. However, the mascaras were not good at all in my opinion. If you like Dejavu, which is another mascara I have no idea why have a good reputation, then you might like Mote Mascara too. It sticks your lashes together and make you look like you only have 4 lashes each eye. Not my type at all.

But what I didn't like the most is Mote Liner. I tried it in black and brown when it came out, and I hated them. Firstly, it did not dispense the ink evenly. Sometimes I ended up with a super thick liner just because the ink came out a lot suddenly. Another time the ink didn't come out that I had to keep shaking whilst drawing the line which resulted in a horrible look. Then, the eyeliner dried out within 10 days or so. I tried the hacks hoping they would bring the eyeliner back to life, but nothing did. That happened to 4 or 5 of my Mote Liner, and I finally decided not to purchase their products ever.

But when I saw Mote Liner in this limited shade Cherry Cheek in March, I couldn't resist. I knew Mote Liner might let me down again, but the shade looked too pretty not to give it a go. And it's only 1500yen. Why not?

I instantly fell in love with this beautiful shade. It's somewhere in-between pink, red and orange. I have never seen any other brands with this kind of shade of eyeliner. It's such a unique and sophisticated shade.

How pretty is that? I am truly obsessed with this eyeliner. And as you can see in the photos above, it draws a perfect line without fail. It allows me to draw thick and thin lines very easily, and never budges on my eyes. It stays vibrant all day and does not make me look like I have an eye infection! It goes well with a simple makeup like the one I'm waring in the photos, or you can go really bold with orange or pink eyeshadows.

It has not been dried out after 2 months, which makes me wonder if the ones I have tried were from a bad batch and were defective. Have you tried Mote Liner before? How did you get on if you have?

Obagi C Powder Wash

Obagi C Powder Wash  1,800yen
Obagi is a Japanese brand founded by Dr. Obagi and Rohto, one of the most famous drugmakers in Japan in 2001. They are known for their Vitamin C Serum which was an innovative product back in those days as it contains pure Vitamin C in high concentration. After 16 years, their serums are still selling well and Obagi as a brand remains well-known.

They recently brought out this new product called Powder Wash, which looks very similar to Beauty Clear Powder from suisai which has been super popular especially among tourists from China. This is basically enzyme powder that removes excess sebum on your skin that causes clogged pores. The biggest difference is that Obagi C Powder Wash contains Vitamin C to moisturise and clear up the skin along with enzyme.

One pack comes with 30 little portions. I find it very handy because you can simply take one or two when you travel, rather than carrying the big heavy jar like Rice Enzyme Powder from Tatcha (which is an amazing product, too!). Also it's good to know how much you are supposed to use at a time.

The powder is very fine and is not scented. Simply take the powder in the palm, add a little bit of warm water and make it into paste. You can use a net to create fluffy and bouncy foam with it too if that is what you prefer. Keep in mind that you just need a tiny bit of water -2-3 drops to be specific!

Gently massage the clean skin with the paste or foam, whichever you like, and rinse with warm water. You will feel the instant effect because enzyme removes excess sebum and old protein in the pores and leave the skin feel clean and moisturised. It's kind of shocking how smooth it makes my skin feels just by one use. I let my husband try it and he was impressed too that I gave him the whole pack. I am not sure how often you are supposed to use it, but it does not replace your daily cleansing step. I use it once or twice a week whenever my skin feels oily or unstable.

Obagi C is widely available in Japan, mainly at Matsumoto Kiyoshi, Loft, Tokyu Hands, Ainz-Tulpe, Plaza and Tomods.

Fasio Mascara Base Long

One of the reasons why I am not a big fan of Japanese mascaras is because most of them contain fibres. They are contained intending to make your lashes longer, but they make my lashes look super wonky and strange. Which is why I usually try to avoid any mascaras that have a word "fibre' written proudly on the packaging.

But this mascara base is an exception. It's full of fibres that you can actually see white fibres stuck on your lashes when applied -not my cup of tea at all. But hear me out, it makes my lashes look AMAZING. And it makes any mascaras waterproof. Magical, huh?

Fasio is a Japanese drugstore brand that I can't care less. They have been around for decades but they barely come out with an amazing product in my opinion. Though their mascaras have a good reputation, I personally have never been a fan of them, and again I couldn't care less about the brand at all.

They brought out two types of mascara base this year. One is 'LONG' which I am writing about at the moment, and another is 'VOLUME' which, like the name suggests, claims to make your lashes voluminous.

As you can see the formula is white, and it does make your lashes look white once applied. I pay extra attention to apply mascara on top not to miss any little spot otherwise I would end up with white lashes peeking through.

I apply this mascara base after curing my lashes with Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler. Sometimes I warm up the eyelash curler with a hair dryer to make it easier. The important thing is that you must apply mascara before the base dries to avoid getting clumps. And believe me, the base dries pretty quickly!

Not only does it make my lashes longer, but it makes them look thicker and fuller. I like paring it with False Lash Sculpt Mascara from L'Oreal because it smudges so bad on me when worn on its own (is it just me or this mascara never dries on the lashes and they feel sticky all day...?). No mascara would smudge when paired with this base, instead you'd need an eye makeup remover or cleansing oil!

I never pair the base with Better Than Sex Mascara or Velvet Noir Mascara as I love how they look alone and they don't smudge anyway, but it's really handy to wear underneath mascara that doesn't get along with my lashes. For only 1,100yen, I think it's a nice product to have in your collection. Fasio is available at drugstores such as Matsumoto Kiyoshi.

My favourite drugstore in Tokyo -Ainz-Tulpe Harajuku Quest

In Japan, we have quite a few drugstores. The most famous one I believe is Matsumoto Kiyoshi, which you might stumble across often walking around Tokyo. Matsu-Kiyo -which is what we call the drugstore- is a traditional drugstore, where you find medicines, medical equipments, toiletries and some beauty products. It's not bad if you intend to buy tissue boxes, contact solution and a mascara -you know, commodities. But if you are a tourist who's visiting Japan for a few days and make the most of an opportunity to buy tons of Japanese drugstore beauty bits, then I recommend Ainz-Tulpe rather than Matsumoto Kiyoshi.

Ainz-Tulpe has multiple branches but I believe the one in Harajuku is the biggest and simply the best. They have the basement as well, full of skincare, body care and makeup products. Only a couple of minutes away from both Harajuku and Meiji Jingu Mae Station, the location is very convenient that you can drop by while exploring Shibuya, Harajuku and Omotesando areas.

You find some displays of newest products at the entrance. It usually boosts my excitement -which is a good thing and a bad thing at the same time, because it means I tend to lose control!

There are more displayed of new products near the entrance.

They have the whole shelf dedicated to showing what the popular products are in rank order, which is very helpful when you are overwhelmed. I also love how accurate the ranking is. The products displayed on the shelf are definitely the ones being raved about.

There are so many different types of false lashes as well....!

I couldn't take photos of all the sections because I was afraid to get told off, but there are haircare section, oral care section, medicine section and a small duty free section as well.

When you go downstairs, you find the skincare section, natural & organic section, health care section and quite a few drugstore beauty stands including Majolica Majorca, CANMAKE, Rimmel, Maybelline, Revlon, L'Oreal, Integrate, Kate and the list goes on.

The funny thing is that they have quite a big section for foot care. The average working hours in Japan tend to be longer than other developed countries, and most of them take more than 2 hours a day for transportation. What does it mean? It means their feet are abused! That is why the food care items such as the foot detox mask, some kind of disgusting peeling mask for feet, compression socks and cushions you can insert into heels to reduce the pain, sell very well.

There is nothing you cannot find at Ainz-Tulpe. I go there no matter what when I'm in the area, and end up with a bagful of beauty products to leave there. Story of my life.

Ainz-Tulpe Harajuku Quest
Address: 1-13-14, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0001
Phone: +81-3-5775-0561

Point Magic PRO Pore Cover Primer

I never wear foundation without applying a good primer underneath. Primers create a smooth base that foundation would sit beautifully for hours without being patchy or cakey. My favourite primer is definitely Benefit Porefessional which I got at Heathrow Airport back in August. I had been dying to try it out as it was raved about among beauty lovers all over the world, but I did not have a chance as none of the websites besides the official website would ship their products to Japan -and the official website offers a pretty high rate of the delivery fee.

I purchased my first Porefessional tube at the airport, and haven't stopped using it since then. Whenever I wear makeup, I NEED to apply Porefessional to blur my pores and create a smooth, oil-free base for foundation. It keeps my makeup stay on my skin longer, and I now use my oil blotting paper much less throughout the day.

The only downside is that it's not available in Japan. I've been using the tiniest amount so that I won't use it up until I go back to the UK next time. So when I was given this primer called Pore Cover Primer from a Japanese drugstore brand Point Magic PRO, I was hoping it would be a dupe for Porefessional. The price is 1/3 compared to Porefessional, and it's widely available in Japan!

This primer helps foundation not to get into the pores throughout the day which enlarges the appearance of them. It contains Pore Flat Powder which fills the pores to create a smooth base, and Long Lasting Powder would make your makeup last for maximum 15 hours.

Though it does not leave any colour to the skin, it's got a tint of pink. The texture is similar to Porefessional but the biggest difference is that Pore Cover Primer is much more moisturising than Porefessional. It leaves the skin feel silky smooth, but at the same time you feel the moisturising residue which is ideal for dry skin, but not so much for oily and combination skin. In fact, it's too moisturising for my combination skin that I had to use extra oil blotting paper during the day.

So, is this primer a dupe for Porefessional? In my opinion, it's far from the quality of the cult primer from Benefit. But for 1300yen, it does an OK job to fill the pores and create a smooth base. If you find Porefessional too drying, you might like Pore Cover Primer. I am not sure about the long-lasting claim on dry skin, it may elongates the lasting power of foundation by preventing dryness, but obviously I cannot speak for them.

All I can say is that if you are looking for a dupe for Porefessional, this is not the one as it works differently. While Porefessional makes your skin smooth and prevents oiliness throughout the day, this one keeps your skin hydrated. Again, if you find Porefessional too drying, it may be worth trying this primer out!

TOFU LOVE Professional Makeup Sponge

TOFU LOVE Professional Makeup Sponge 380yen
Can you believe that Beauty Blender isn't officially available in Japan? I seriously wonder why, because Japan is one of the 'advanced countries' when it comes to beauty. I have heard countless beauty bloggers and youtubers raving about Beauty Blender for years, but I have never tried it myself. I liked Miracle Completion Sponge from Real Techniques but hearing everyone saying 'There is nothing like the original Beauty Blender', I still am dying to try it.

But what can I do, it's not available in Japan unless I order on Sephora or something. So, I picked up this sponge called Tofu Love. How cute is that? I thought it's just a heart shaped sponge, but actually it's a heart shaped sponge divided in half. Meaning one pack comes with two sponges.

The sponge is thick but not too soft when it's dry. It feels very condensed. You can use it dry or wet according to your liking, but I never use it dry because it doesn't do anything special that way. But once it's wet, it expands and becomes much softer and kind of like Konjac.

The left half is dry, and the right one is wet. It feels so soft on the skin when it's wet, and blends foundation and concealer seamlessly. I blend foundation with my Real Techniques Buffing Brush, and then pat with this sponge. It evens out the layer of foundation beautifully and makes my skin look flawless. Then I apply concealer, and blend with this sponge so that it doesn't look heavy or cakey. It does not absorb foundation and concealer too much, but definitely controls the amount that goes on the skin if that makes sense.

The only downside is the shape. I wish it was round or heart shaped so that there is no edge. The tip of the heart (is that what it's called?) is too thin that's breakable. The round part is then too thick that doesn't fit anywhere on my face. Apparently they used to have a pentagon shaped version as well but I haven't seen it anywhere recently.

If you are sensitive like me, you would think it's not a good idea to buy a white makeup sponge. But this one cleans amazingly for some reason, every time I wash it with  Magic Soap, it looks like brand-new!

I cannot compare this sponge to Beauty Blender, but I am pretty satisfied with this for now. Of course I will try to get my hands on the original Beauty Blender when I can, though.  Considering the price, I think it could be a good dupe!

Shiseido Integrate Matsu-iku Girls' Lash Otemba Curl

Shiseido Integrate Matsu-iku Girls' Lash Otemba Curl 1,296yen
As you may know already, I am very fussy when it comes to mascara. Japanese mascaras are designed for Japanese lashes -short and growing straight down that don't hold a curl. That is why you find that the most of Japanese mascaras have fibres in them to make your lashes longer. Also Japanese people love waterproof ones to avoid smudging and 'panda eyes'.

I have quite long lashes that hold a curl, which means when I use a mascara with loads of fibres in it, my lashes look too long and kind of freaky. I hate it when fibres make your lashes look wonky, too. I also don't like a waterproof mascara because it's pain in the butt to remove at night, and nothing is more annoying than looking in a mirror finding your mascara hasn't been removed after washing your face.

Integrate Matsu-iku Girls' Lash in Otemba Curl  -such an odd name, though. Matsu-iku means growing lashes and Otemba means tomboy- is everything that I don't like about a mascara. It's got fibres and the comb wand which I don't like, and it's waterproof. I thought it would be a disaster. But you know what, I am in love with this mascara.

First I thought this curvy comb wouldn't do anything to my lashes besides making them look wonky. But actually, it does the trick! It's very hard to explain but let me try...basically, when you apply the mascara on the centre of your lashes, you place the comb at the same angle as the lashes -I know it doesn't make sense, but I can't find any other way to explain this! I mean, the comb should be fitting the shape of your eye. Then, when you apply it on the outer corner of your lashes, flip the comb and use it like a spoon. Like, scooping your lashes with the comb. That way, your lashes curls upwards and they hold it hours and hours.

Despite the fact it's got tons of fibres, it's not clumpy at all. It coats each lash and separate them, for a voluminous and fuller look. I love the fact that it doesn't stick the lashes together, too. Though I wish it was a 'film mascara' that washes off with warm water, I am obsessed with this mascara because I love how it makes my lashes look.

Don't worry about a little smudge of mascara under the eye, I didn't notice I failed on applying it on my bottom lashes. Honestly, it's unnoticeable in real life! Anyway, how gorgeous my lashes look!? It looks like I'm waring false lashes. Every time I put a photo of my eye makeup wearing this mascara on Instagram, I get compliments or questions about which mascara I use.

This has been the mascara that I reach for on daily basis the most recently, because it never makes me want to start my makeup all over again which sometimes happens when I accidentally apply an old mascara that's kind of dried up and made my lashes look clumpy and smudgy and miserable. I apply makeup at 7am, and come home from work around 10-11pm on the weekdays, and still my lashes look exactly the same as they did in the morning. Incredible.

If you are a fan of separated lashes, I highly recommend this mascara along with Heroine Mascara.

My Autumn Skincare Must-Haves

Though I have pretty oily skin during summer that all my makeup melts throughout the day, I suffer from dryness during winter -which is why I call my skin type combination rather than oily. December started and the air is getting colder and drier in Tokyo that instantly spoil my mood. I love trying out different skincare items though I have some products that I completely rely on when my skin becomes unstable.

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream is definitely one of those products. This unscented cream seems very simple and kind of boring, but it basically mends the skin and make it look plumped. Even when I have rash due to some kind of allergy to new skincare products that my skin doesn't agree with, it heals the skin within a couple of days of use. It hydrates the skin whilst keeping the skin surface feeling smooth. I used up my first jar now that I am ready to repurchase. Though, I might wait for a while as I just ordered the moisturiser from First Aid Beauty which I have heard works similar to this one.

Terracuore Damask Rose Dew Oil that I mentioned in the past (HERE) can be used in different ways. I usually use it as serum, but it can be used right after the cleanser to softens the skin, or you can of course mix it with a moisturiser. The mix of rosehip oil, almond oil, avocado oil and safflower oil makes your skin feel soft and hydrated.

It smells like rose perfume in the nicest possible way, though I do not like a rose scent, but this one is an exception. It smells divine that I recommend to ANYONE. This is definitely one of the best smelling face oils out there. This none-greasy oil protects the skin from dryness, and balances out the oil production.

Hada Labo Gokujyun Premium Oil Jelly that you can read an in-depth review HERE has been living in my makeup bag. During the colder months, my makeup tends to look cakey and kind of powdery though I only use liquid foundation, and that can be fixed with a product like this. I LOVE how light it feels on the skin. It can be used in the morning, night and during the day -basically ANYTIME! This is what you want to keep in your bag all the time, ditch your vaseline and grab this one instead!

I use Trilogy Everything Balm  when my skin requires even more hydration. This is quite an oily balm that I rarely use, but when my skin feels very dry that Gokujyun Premium Oil Jelly cannot even fix, I rely on this balm. It smells very 'natural and organic'-like, which not everyone would love. I definitely smell something like ylang ylang or patchouli. The great thing about this is that you can use it on your hair, nails, hands, face...everywhere on your body. Apparently this is one of their best-selling products, and I understand why. It's slightly more tacky than Gokujyun Premium Oil Jelly but it works wonders on my skin. This mini that came in one of the look fantastic beauty box is super handy!

Do you have any products that you cannot live without during the colder months? Let me know!

Majolica Majorca Romantic Night Mascara & Eyeliner Set

Majolica Majorca Romantic Night Mascara & Eyeliner Set  1,800yen

I had been looking for a good navy eyeliner and mascara since the end of summer. But unfortunately, most of them I came across did't have the right shade -to my liking. They were either too dark or too bluey. So when I saw this limited set at Aintz-Tulpe, my favourite drugstore in Harajuku (other branches are pretty small, go to the one in Harajuku if you are interested) I did not even hesitate to take it to the till.

This set comes with their best-selling mascara called Lash Expander Edge Meister and eyeliner called Perfect Automatic Liner, both in the limited shade 'Romantic Night'. They also launched other limited products at the same time: body lotion that smells heavenly, lip stain / gloss, eyeshadow palette and nail-caviar thing that was very popular a couple of years ago.

The liquid eyeliner has this pretty design on the body -which somehow reminds me of Sailor Moon. It's the type of eyeliner that you twist the end part to dispense the ink. At first it would tend to dispense too much ink at once which I wiped excess on the back of my hand, but it started working fine after using it for a couple of times.

I twist the end of the eyeliner once, and apply it on both eyes. The amount of the ink it dispense by one twist is absolutely perfect. The shade "Romantic Night' is such a lovely midnight blue. It's shimmery which makes it even more appropriate for the coming holiday season. It dries very quickly, meaning you have little time to apply it without making the eyeliner look messy, but once you're used to it you won't find any problems.

As you can see, it looks absolutely gorgeous on the eyes!! The metallic finish is very pretty and trendy, yet it's not too in-your-face at all. It definitely defines the eyes like a black eyeliner does, but definitely makes the whole look softer and more natural. It also makes my eyes look brighter for some reason, which is another plus point in my opinion.

The mascara is even more gorgeous than the eyeliner, as it contains bigger glitter particles that look absolutely amazing on the lashes. The brush looks rather odd, and I didn't think it would work on my lashes at first. I assumed that it would make them stick together and look clumpy. But I admit it did not do any of those -it separates the lashes and holds the curl for hours and hours.

It's got loads of fibres which I usually hate because they make my lashes look wonky, but for some reason this mascara does not do that much. I just comb my lashes with a clean spooli right after applying the mascara, and all the excess fibres come out.

In this photo, I only applied the mascara on my bottom lashes as I didn't want to look too much with the blue eyeliner and mascara on. You can if you want, but I just wanted to tone it down. You can see the bottom lashes look sparkly, but it's not too bluey at all.

When applied on both top and bottom lashes, it makes the whole look kind of mysterious -which I LOVE!! I tend to pair it with a black pencil eyeliner to balance out the look. It goes well with olive green eyeshadow -my favourite is Eyes to Mesmerise Cream Eyeshadow in Veruschka by Charlotte Tilbury- as well as taupe, silver and purple eyeshadows.

I have been wearing them 3-4 times a week since I got them. Especially the eyeliner is suitable for a daily use as they are quite subtle. The mascara is perfect for a special occasion, like a night-out or a special event. It's a shame they are limited, as I would repurchase them if they were permanent. They are sold out online already, but I have spotted them in some local drugstores recently. Grab them if you've seen them, as I promise you that you won't regret it!