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Aujua Equial Force Mist

Aujua Equial Force Mist  3,000yen
The product that made me ditch all the texturising and volumising sprays that I got from Boots, is surprisingly a Japanese product. Japanese people tend to have thicker and voluminous hair which is opposite from my hair type. People who have thin and limp hair like I do, struggle to find a product enhances natural volume in the hair.

It's only recently that Japanese beauty brands started bringing haircare products for mature people who have limp hair due to ageing of population. Aujua Equial is one of them. Aujua is a Japanese haircare brand only sold at hair salons. They have 15 different lines of haircare products which you can choose depending on your hair type. Seven out of 15 are focusing on anti-ageing, and they have shampoo, hair treatment and some styling products within the line.

Equial is for limp hair which needs more volume. I have never tried them but they also have shampoo and hair treatment. I was recommended to try this mist at the hair salon which I go to for 14 years, when I told them I was struggling to style my hair. They demonstrated this product with my hair at the salon, and I was impressed with the result that I had no choice to to purchase it. But at the same time I was wondering -is it the hair stylist that made my hair look amazing, or the product?

As it turned out it was this product. I simply spray it directly on my scalp and the roots -not the hair, this is the important part- after towel-drying my hair, and massage it in. Then blow-dry my hair as usual. It's simple is that but makes a huge difference to the finish. It lifts the roots naturally which gives volume to the hair without feeling greasy or crispy at all. I cannot feel the product in my hair, which I love the most about this mist.

It does not have an amazing fragrance which is a little disappointing, but it has a very subtle herbal scent which does not disturb other fragrances you are wearing. Since I started using this mist, I completely stopped using the texturising spray that I adored before. I just don't need it. If you are looking for a volumising spray that does not make your hair crispy, you must try Aujua Equal Force Mist. This bottle would last for about 3 months as you only need about 10 pumps per day, which makes it about 1,000yen per month which I think is pretty cheap for what you get!

Le ment Sparkling Oil Cleansing & Shampoo

Le ment Sparkling Oil Cleansing & Shampoo  2,400yen
It's been more than 2 weeks since I updated this blog last -I apologise for the lack of consistency with my blog, but this time I have an excuse. I caught a nasty flu at the beginning of March, which stopped me from eating and sleeping for more than a week. Fortunately I am recovered from it completely now, but it reminded me how I should be careful not to catch flu during winter -it's massive in Japan, that more than 11 million people apparently caught flu this season. Yikes! Anyway, enough of my excuses. I will try my best to update this blog more consistently, or if you read Japanese check out my Japanese blog that I update almost every single day. I also post one photo at least per day on my Instagram, too!

Moving on to the product review. Today I am reviewing this shampoo that comes out as a foam. Sounds gimmicky? Probably. Does it actually work? Absolutely.

Le ment Sparkling Oil Cleansing Shampoo contains Argan oil, Baobab oil, Lipidure, Keratin and Fullerene, which makes it very moisturising yet not heavy in the hair. It also contain highly concentrated carbonation that deep cleanses the pores and draws out impurities that normal shampoo cannot cleanse, while leaving a moisturising feel to the scalp. It also removes the alkaline residue after colouring, highlighting or perming your hair and bring it back to the healthy state -which is mild acidity.

Shake the tin well before use,  and push the nozzle to dispense this fine, bouncy foam of shampoo. It's not the weak foam that disappears within 5 seconds. It's a foam that you might be able to play tennis with -which of course you cannot but you know what I mean!

As you massage it into your hair and scalp, it lathers even more. It's actually really fun to keep massaging it into your hair and feel how much foam it creates. A little bit goes a long way, and a small amount of foam actually lathers up quite a lot that it coats all my hair easily.

Another thing I love about this shampoo is the scent. It has this floral scent that reminds me of young Japanese girls for some reason. It's not like a fragrance that high-end haircare products have. It's more like the one drugstore haircare products targeting younger girls tend to have. I might not be a university student anymore -or honestly speaking I have never been one in my life- and I am in my 30's but I love wearing this kind of subtle floral scent that makes me feel feminine and girly in a way.

The best thing about this product is how it makes my hair feel lighter and bouncier, yet not dry at all. My hair feels moisturising from the root to the end, but it does not weight down the hair. No matter which conditioner or hair mask I pair it with, it always makes my hair feel amazing.

I have nothing negative to say about this product, except how small it is. It says on the tin the weight is 200g,  but I believe that is not the actual weight of the contents -it feels much less than 200g. I have been using it for about a month now, and I am almost done with my first tin. I have never used up any shampoo within a month, unless it's just a tiny sample bottle that I get in a beauty subscription box. I would love to repurchase this product but I cannot simply justify myself spending 2,400yen every month on shampoo.

With that being said, this is a very effective shampoo that does what it claims. My scalp feels fresher, my hair feels smoother, and my roots have more volume than before. I highly recommend you to try it out if you are interested in it, but I personally am not sure if I should keep repurchasing it in the long term. Definitely an interesting product!

Best in Beauty 2015 -Makeup and Hair

I apologize for not being able to blog for a while, December is the busiest month work wise and I had to get everything done before my long winter holiday. In Japan Christmas is a working day but the winter holiday is pretty long that everyone spends time with their family to welcome a new year. As I am off until the 3rd of January, I picked up my favourite products I discovered in 2015 to share with you all.

Maihada CC Cream (REVIEW)
This CC cream is what I have been wearing on my day off. It's perfect for when you do not want to wear foundation, concealer, highlighter and powder on, because it covers all the imperfections of your skin and makes it look flawless and dewy, yet very natural. I have the lighter shade and it's a perfect match for NC20 skin I guess. The texture is very light yet moisturising enough, this is a perfect BB CC whatever cream.

Three Shimmering Lip Jam / Moon Whisper (REVIEW)
I just wrote a review on this lipgloss the other day, so am not going into too much details. All I can say is that this is the pink I was looking for.

Bobbi Brown Intensive Skin Serum Foundation (REVIEW)
This is the foundation I wear on daily basis. As mentioned in my 'My Base Makeup Routine' post, it is one of the foundations that give dewiness to oily / combination skin without making it look shiny or oily. It hides my pores on the cheeks, gives a flawless finish with a natural glow to it. I also LOVE the lavender scent.

Bobbi Brown Instant Pretty Eyes and Cheek Palette (REVIEW)
The eyeshadow palette that I used the most in 2015. Grab yours if you ever see it at Duty-free, it's such a lovely palette that you won't regret spending money on. Though I do not use the blush much, the eyeshadows are worth the money themselves. They last ages on the lids which means I can rely on this palette when I have a long day at work. It's also tiny that can fit into my makeup bag easily. The matte brown shade is my favourite, although it's a little hard to blend, it makes the whole look sophisticated somehow.

Max Factor Creme Puff Blush / Nude Mauve 
I am about to hit the pan. That's how much I adore this blusher. I got it back in August when I went to the UK. I wasn't sure about this blush because I thought shimmery blush would emphasises the pores on my cheeks, so I only purchase only one. I came back to Japan and tried it on, and it blew me away! It's such a beautiful blush that makes my skin look AMAZING. It does not emphasise the pores at all, instead it gives such an amazing glow and warmth to the skin, making my face look sculpted. I would buy all the shades, and 5 of Nude Mauve next time I go to the UK.

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion
I had heard a lot about this primer, and I bought a mini from House of Fraser to try out. Now I regret that I didn't buy a bigger one! It naturally covers the discolouration on my lids, while creating a perfect base for eyeshadow to stick. Since I started using this eyeshadow primer, my eye makeup never smudges or get ruined, even on a long long day at work -I'm talking about 17 hours of wearing makeup. I will 100% repurchase once I've used it up, but I doubt I would in the near future, as a tiny bit goes a long way.

Percy & Reed The Perfect Blow Dry Spray
My hair cannot be the same without this product. I have no idea what's in it, but it gives natural volume in the hair by spraying it before blow-drying. It also protects the hair from the heat, and leaves such a beautiful scent in it. Though it does not make my hair feel crispy or tacky, it definitely makes it thicker and voluminous. I love everything this spray does, I cannot live without it.

Fudge Urban Texture Spray
Another product I regret not buying a few at least. This candy-scented hair spray gives serious volume in my hair. Yes it makes it feel a little tacky, but I don't care because the volume lasts all day and the scent is to die for! I am definitely buying their dry shampoo, styling mousse and salt spray too next time I go to the UK.

I will reveal other favourite products of the year on the 31st! Don't miss it ;)

Japanese Drugstore Haul!

About a week ago, Alanna from UK2Tokyo and I went to Veggie Food Festival at Yoyogi Park. After we enjoyed Vegetarian Kebab and wandering around the park looking for treasures, we dropped by Ainz Tulpe in Harajuku. If you live in Tokyo and haven't been there before, you need to go there as soon as you can. Because I guarantee you that you will find amazing products you have not seen before. It's quite a big drugstore that has 2 floors and we actually spent 1.5 hours there as long as I can remember. Today I want to share my thoughts on the products I got from Ainz Tulpe as well as the ones I got to review!

Non Kuma
It contains 4 sheet masks for under the eyes that you can use multiple times.  I admit that I was attracted to the cute packaging at first, then I read that it reduces the appearance of dark circles which I am always conscious about. So when I found out it was only 500yen or so, I didn't hesitate to buy one. Far infrared slightly warms them up once applied, which they claim to improve circulation. I have used it once and I wish the sheets were a bit softer, but it feels relaxing to have slightly warm sheets under the eyes. My undereye circles are pretty dark so it might not erase them completely, but I am hoping them to fade a little so that I can reduce the amount of concealers to apply to hide them...

Rafra Balm Orange / Yuzu Honey
Rafra Balm Orange is my favourite cleansing balm in the world. I will write an in-depth review on this product because I have been enjoying it a lot, but this is such a lovely cleanser that makes me excited to remove makeup. Usually they only have the orange-scented one, but they just came out with a limited scent which is a blend of Yuzu and Honey. The scent is much weaker than the original, but it's more lemon-y and refreshing.

Pantene Extra Damage Care Hair Mask
This hair mask is given to me to review on my blog. As it's packed with silicone, it makes my hair feel absolutely silky smooth. My fine hair gets tangled very easily, but I don't even have to comb it in the morning when I have used this hair mask the night before.

Asience MEGURI
Though I cannot share my thoughts on this yet, the concept seems very interesting and unique. Asience, one of the most popular (and classic) hair care brands in Japan which I was obsessed with when I was younger, just came out with this new range called MEGURI. I got the trial set to see if I like them, and I believe it was only 500yen. There are 3 different scents, and I assume there is no difference between them besides the scents. I got Bergamot and Neroli which is the feminine yet refreshing scent, and they also have Lavender and Lemongrass, and Geranium and Mint. Starting with shampoo like you normally do, succinic acid removes calcium built up in your hair. Then apply the gel which supple your hair, and move on to the hair treatment without washing the gel off. I will write an in-depth review once I have tried them!

Ce Parfait Loose Powder / The City Matte
This is another product I got to review. I usually prefer pressed powder (I have been loving the pressed powder from Me Me Me Cosmetics, which makes my skin look like porcelain doll) rather than loose powder, because loose powder is a little too fine that completely disappears on my skin. But this loose powder maintains the matte skin for hours, which is a big PLUS for me! It looks a little bit cakey at the beginning, but once set on the skin, it makes it look flawless. The only downside is that it's a little too pigmented and makes me look pale. I much prefer a transparent powder.

L'Oreal Super Liner V Sculptor / Soft Bronze
I believe this product isn't available in the UK nor the US, but I hope they will bring it out there soon! I use it as an eyeshadow stick rather than an eyeliner, and it is absolutely beautiful. The sponge tip applicator isn't necessarily practical and the powder is pretty loose that falls off on the cheeks, but it looks so pretty on the lid! It's so pigmented and blendable, and the metallic finish is gorgeous.

What is your favourite Japanese drugstore product? Any recommendations? Let me know!

VALANROSE Hair Essence Oil

VALANROSE Hair Essence Oil  1850yen

So, it's been a while since I posted a product review on this blog. I'm updating my Japanese blog almost every day but when it comes to this blog, I tend to be a little bit lazy just because writing in English is much harder than writing in Japanese of course. I know I should be consistent, but it's just too hard! Today I decided to write something as I've been in bed all day because I had my wisdom tooth pulled out yesterday (it was one of the hardest things I've ever done, and the pain afterwords was insane) and I wanted to function my brain a little bit! haha

Anyway, let me write about this hair oil that I've been absolutely loving. You know when you have thin and limp hair, hair oils can be the worst enemies? I have come across some hair oils that weighed down my hair, or made my hair looking super greasy. But this oil from VALANROSE, a Japanese brand that I had never heard of until I actually tried this oil, makes my hair shiny and soft without a greasy feel. And also, why I love this oil so much is that it defines my curls! I naturally have really straight hair that emphasises how limp my hair is, so I have to perm it once or twice a year at the hair salon. Some oils do the opposite, and make my hair look less curly, but this one actually defines my curls which I have never seen any hair oils would do.

The texture is pretty thick that I first thought it may be too heavy for my hair. It's got argan oil, camellia oil, olive oil and sunflower oil that moisturise the hair, and jojoba oil, baobab oil, rose hip oil and olive oil that mend the damaged cuticles. It also contains squalene and shea butter that coat the hair. But most importantly, it contains some different types of silicones which my hair definitely needs.

The scent is a little bit strange -I imagined it to be rose scented, but it's actually a mixture of geranium, tea tree and rose. I have never seen a beauty product that has a scent of tea tree and rose. A little bit odd, isn't it? It smells of rose indeed, not so much of geranium, but it also has this herbal, a little bit bitter scent to it. But it doesn't matter as it doesn't linger too much.

I apply one pump of the oil on my semi-dry hair, scrunching to define the curls. My curls look the best when the hair is wet, and as it dries it loses the curls. But when I apply this oil before my hair is completely dry, it holds the curls very well when it's dry if that makes sense! Apparently it's good for straight hair as well, I saw their advert says 'An oil straightener'.

I believe it's only sold online, which is a shame because not so many people would buy a product without trying especially when the brand is still small and not well known. But this oil is incredible that I'm using it every single day. I wish the scent was a bit different, but other than that it's a perfect oil for my hair!

Best in Beauty 2014 -Skin, Hair and Body

I have written my 'Best in Beauty' post on my Japanese blog at the beginning of Jan, but I missed a chance to write on this blog...until now. I know I'm a bit late, but hopefully you enjoy it :)

My skin has changed slightly about 2-3 years ago. It used to be super dry, but it started becoming a bit oily during summer. This year, I turned 30 and my skin has become combination skin all year round. I struggled to find suitable products for my combination skin, as I was used to having dry skin. But these products are the ones saved my skin a lot throughout the year!

CyberWhite HD Advanced Brightening Night Creme
I'm about to use up the 2nd jar of this beautiful night cream, and I am not looking forward to that because I don't think I can purchase it myself. This cream is supposed to help eliminate dullness, brightens up the dark spots and make your whole complexion looks brighter. And I noticed that my dark spots around my eyes look brighter actually. Brightening skincare products never worked on me so I was not expecting anything to be honest, but I'm happy too see the visible result! But what I love about this cream isn't that effect, it's how it feels on the skin and how it smells. It's not too heavy yet moisturising enough, and it smells divine that helps me relax before going to bed.

Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II
It minimises the appearance of my pores. Enough said.

Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Eye
It applies like lotion but moisturises the skin around the eyes well. I tried the sample sachet which lasted for more than a week I remember, and felt it reduced the intensity of my dark circles, and picked one up at the duty free shop in Okinawa. It's not greasy or heavy around the eyes at all, and definitely reduces the fine lines in the next morning as well as brightens up the dark circles. And this tube will last me forever!

Terracuore Damask Rose Dew Oil
Oh my god, has a facial oil ever been this fragrant? I don't think so. It is like a fragrance that you apply on your face. It moisturises, brightens, plumps up your skin, while redusing the visibility of the pores. It feels like a serum rather than an oil when applied an appropriate amount, and sinks into the skin instantly. I use it before moisturiser when my skin feels stiff, or apply it on top of the moisturiser when my skin needs intense hydration. Also you can use it along with a steamed towel for a 'at home spa treatment'. 

Perfume, Hair care and Body care

Jo Malone Perfume
I discovered Peony & Blush Suede in summer, and asked my husband to get one from the duty free shop at Heathrow Airport when he was back in London, as the price in Japan is ridiculously high even when you consider the terrible exchange rate between GPB and JPY. I don't typically pick a floral scent, but this one smells feminine yet not grandma-like. I used up half the bottle within 2-3 months, which was because it didn't stay on my skin at all and I had to spray it a few times throughout the day. Then I purchased Pomegranate Noir on Rakuten Auction for 1,000yen  just because I didn't want to use up Peony & Blush Suede. I am combining it with Red Rose (in sample size) as it smells too musty to me on its own. I also like Blackberry & Bay, French Lime Blossom and Earle Grey & Cucumber. 

Rituals Honey Touch Body Cream
Definitely the best smelling body cream, ever. This is my first ever body cream that I've used up in my life. It leaves my skin soft and smooth, without being greasy at all, and the scent transfers to my clothes and remain smelling divine for hours. It was too heavy during the summer as it's super humid in Japan, it was the only thing I was looking forward to about autumn / winter. It smells like a gorgeous bathroom at a very high-end hotel. I know it sounds horrible, but you may understand if you've tried it!

L'Oreal Elseve Extraordinary Oil
The best hair oil ever. It doesn't weigh down my hair at all yet nourishes the ends instantly. It smells of 'oriental flowers' which is a bit musky, kind of dusty in a way yet feminine and sexy....which I absolutely love.

Alterna Bamboo Volume Weightless Whipped Mousse

It gives a great volume in my hair!! The mousse texture makes it easy to distribute to my hair. I use it mainly on my roots when I wear my hair down to give enough volume, or apply it all over including the ends when I wear my hair up, which gives a good 'grip' to my hair without making it greasy.

Do you want to know what my favourite makeup products of 2014? It will be up on Sunday!

Not only for blond hair! John Frieda Sheer Blonde Series

John Frieda Sheer Blonde Colour Renew Tone Correcting Shampoo
John Frieda Sheer Blonde Colour Renew Tone Correcting Conditioner

I have been colouring my hair for more than 10 years now. I don't mind going back to dark brown which is my natural hair colour, but I enjoy changing hair colour depending on my mood. I never colour my hair at home, I left that to my teenage stage when I didn't have money to go to the hair salon and had no choice but to do it at home damaging my hair. I go to the hair salon in Shimokitazawa where I have a reliable hair dresser who has been taking care of me for more than 13 years now. He used to be an assistant and I used to be his model, and now he is a director and charges quite a lot of money yet he gives me a discount kindly as I was his model and I've known him for ages. I go there every 3 months to cut and colour my hair. I perm my hair every year as well.

In the past year or so, I have been requesting the same colour which is super rare for me. It's called 'Mermaid Ash' and is such a gorgeous shade. I like to colour my hair pretty dark, but as it's very thin and doesn't hold any colour agents, it gets yellowy and brassy. I hate this tone but no matter how hard my hair dresser tries, it gets yellowy within a week or so.

I decided to try John Frieda Sheer Blonde range because it looks like the range that combats the brassy tone in your hair rather than making blond hair look even blonder. I wasn't sure if it works for brown hair, because all the reviews I'd found online were by blonde girls. But I can tell you that it does work for darker hair too!

The shampoo doesn't as purple as I expected, but it's got this bluey purple tint to it. It lathers up well, and as the foam is completely white, it doesn't stain my bathtub. I put it in my hair and let it sit for like 5 minutes before rinsing it out. It has this clean, floral scent that I don't see anybody would complain about. 

The conditioner doesn't have much of a colour agent, but slightly tinted. I was really skeptical and assumed that it wouldn't do anything when it comes to colour correcting, but it does work, surprisingly. When I used the shampoo and conditioner together, it worked much better than when using the shampoo with another conditioner. 

However, I don't like this conditioner much because it's too light for my dry hair. My hair still gets tangled after use of this conditioner, and it just doesn't do much in my opinion. I definitely need to use a leave-in conditioner when I use this conditioner.

The photo in the left is my disgusting yellow toned hair. And the brassy tone in my hair is almost gone in the photo in the right. I only use it once or twice a week, and it works perfectly!

I was worried that it could irritate my scalp as I heard sometimes purple shampoo would make your scalp feel itchy, but this one didn't do any of that at all. It's such a mild, yet effective purple shampoo which is super affordable too!

Unfortunately it's not available in Japan but thank god feelunique carries the whole range. I hope someday they would come out with a hair mask version as well. If you have hair that doesn't hold hair colour and tends to get yellowy, it's worth trying out this range even if you are not blonde!

Beauty rules that are common in Japan

Common knowledge is such an unreliable thing. Not sure if "unreliable" is the best word to describe it, but it really is, because your common knowledge can be senseless in other places. But it's always good to know what is common in other countries, isn't it? Especially when the "country" is Japan, where women give so much attention to beauty!

  • Don't rub your skin with a towel, nor with a cotton pad.
It's surprising to see how girls in Europe and the US rub their skin when they wash their face or pat it dry. Whenever I'm watching "skincare routine" video, and see a girl rubbing her eyes with a cotton pad with Bioderma, then with a muslin cloth, then with a towel, and then again with a cotton pad soaked with toner, it makes me want to scream "NOOOOOO!". That's a huge NO-NO in Japan because it does irritate your skin obviously, and ruin your skin texture. Do not ever rub your skin, even when you wipe your face with a towel, gently pat dry rather than scrubbing.

  • Moisturise with lotion before applying a moisturiser.
In Japan, we all use moisturising lotion before moisturiser. Moisturiser replenishes your skin with oil and other ingredients, whilst lotion gives moisture back to the skin. You can either apply with  a cotton pad or your hands. I choose depending on the texture of the lotion, but when I use a cotton pad I make sure not to rub, and I gently press my skin with my hands in the end to help the lotion sink in completely. 

  • Always wear SPF, even on a cloudy day or indoor.
UV rays are always attacking your skin. Even when you stay indoors. Make sure to apply sunscreen in the morning after washing your face. This is why I love Clinique Superdefence SPF20, as it works as a moisturiser and sunscreen in one!
Hair care

  • Blow dry your hair with a hair dryer.
You need to blow dry your hair unless you have super short hair to maintain both your hair and scalp healthy. When your hair is wet, the cuticle is open which makes your hair in a very fragile state. It causes hair breakage, split ends and dry hair. Also it's easy to imagine your scalp is also wet when your hair is wet. It encourages bacterial growth which can lead to skin diseases and odour. 

If you don't blow dry your hair with a hair dryer only because you are worried it would damage your hair, use a heat protecting spray. Ideally ones with an effective ingredient Erucalactone that seals up the cuticles by the heat. We are aware that the heat damages the hair, but maintaining healthy scalp is much more important as you can cut your hair but your scalp is a part of your body skin, like your face.

  • Wash your hair every day or at least every other day.
I was shocked when I learnt there were countries where people didn't wash their hair every day. That's how it's common sense to wash hair daily. We don't care if it damages our hair (just invest on a good hair mask!), we need to be clean!! I am sorry if I sound harsh, but it is quite disgusting for Japanese people to imagine not washing hair for days, and you sleep with it. 

  • Silicone is bad for your hair. Wait, it's not too bad actually.
It's crazy how people went "anti-silicone" a few years ago and brands started bringing loads of silicone-free shampoo and conditioner. But then some brands started claiming that silicone wasn't always bad, there were some kinds that would clog pores, but not all of them. Silicone-free hair care products are still popular in Japan, but consumers are not as particular as they were. One thing you need to watch out is that the products especially hair treatment or conditioner, that don't contain silicone tend to contain more oils, which get oxidised on your scalp which smell bad. Trust me, it happened to me and I wondered why. I much prefer silicone!

  • Avoid any friction when your hair is wet.
 My hair used to get tangled and dry so bad during winter. I asked my hair dresser why, and he asked "You don't go out with wet hair, do you?". I looked back, and realised that I would wash my hair in the morning and blow dry, but as I didn't have much time I would just dry 70% and wrap a scarf around my neck and went out. Again, your hair is very fragile when it's wet. Any frictions would cause a damage to it. Dry your hair completely before you leave your house, or go to bed.

 Body care

  • Apply moisturiser on the butt.
 I cannot believe how people are unconcerned about their butt! You are sitting down like 10 hours a day (or more?) and your butt always rubs against chairs. This area tends to get dry as well, and the combination of frictions and dryness can cause pigmentation and rough skin. I scrub and moisturise my butt daily, to keep it like a baby's (TMI).


  • Leave the top part of your eyebrows as natural as possible.
I know you can go crazy pulling out your eyebrows. But do not touch the top part of your eyebrows, that way they look more natural. In other words, when the baby hairs on top of your eyebrows are completely gone, they look fake and old fashioned.

  • Make your eyebrows a little brighter than your hair colour.
This is common in Japan too, but apparently not so much in other countries. Blonde hair + dark eyebrows look very strange to me, but it might depend on each person. I personally don't like dark eyebrows with my bright hair colour, so I dye them every other week at home, and use an eyebrow mascara to colour them daily.

  • Blot before applying foundation
Apply a moisturiser, then blot with a tissue. Apply a primer, then blot again. You don't need any excess oil before applying foundation. Make sure your skin is completely oil-free, and then apply it. It prevents your makeup to slip off during the day, and make it last much longer.

There are the ones just came up in my head! Let me know what the beauty habits in your country are, on Twitter or Instagram!

P.S. I'm getting many responses saying "I don't agree" or "That's wrong", but there are just common things in Japan and obviously you have different habits in other countries. I am not claiming that you all should follow them, I'm just sharing how Japanese girls take care of ourselves, as Japan is tend to be one step ahead when it comes to beauty.

Cuti Series -Hair care products that have a shape-memory effect!

Cuti Series Shampoo, Conditioner, Hair Mist and Styling Cream
What does "Hair care products that have a shape-memory effect" sound to you? Apparently those products make you hair shiny and smooth, and the effect lasts for up to a week.

Shampoo 3460yen
I didn't expect this weird colour from the cute bottle. It's got this very loose texture that it leaks from between my fingers and I end up wasting the product. I'm not complaining! It has a very pleasant scent that I absolutely love. It's a very fresh and a bit feminine scent. It lathers up very well, and it does not leave my hair tangly despite the fact it does not contain silicone. The cleansing ingredient in this shampoo is 100% amino acid that makes protein which composes hair.

Conditoner 3360yen
This conditioner doesn't contain silicone either but does repair your hair with amino acid and vegetamide which is ion-complex that repairs permed and coloured hair from inside...if that makes sense. You know all those features are really hard to understand and it's even harder to explain when I don't fully understand. Thank you for your understanding. 

Moving on!

So, again, the texture is pretty loose and light. It never feels enough with this conditioner, I use about 3 pumps on my hair but still it feels too light for my damaged hair. Maybe it's because I am now used to silicone based conditioner and hair mask that works the best for my fine tangly hair. 

Cuti Mix Hair Mist 1940yen
This hair mist can be used in the shower but I only use it as a leave-in hair mist. It contains this special ingredient which I couldn't find the spelling in English, that gives shine to your hair and keep the smoothness for a week.

I use this hair mist before blow-dry and it makes my hair smell amazing, and gives shine as it claims. This special ingredient works with heat for some reason, so the more you blow-dry, the shinier your hair gets. That's a miracle, don't you think? Since I started using this product, I haven't been feeling guilty using a hair dryer.

Cuti Mix Styling Cream 1510yen
This styling cream has SPF10 PA+ which protects your hair from sun damage. And it has Nano Repair that maintains highlights and colouring, and Keratin Protein to keep the curls if you have permed hair. I have permed and coloured hair, which means this product is made for me ;)

It also smells amazing, and it defines my curls beautifully. I don't even need my mousse when I use this cream, as it works as good as the mousse to create beautiful curls!

Phew, it took ages introducing the products. This is how my hair looks after using all of those products above. Pretty nice, isn't it? It smells amazing and makes my hair smooth and shiny. Unfortunately I didn't feel the "shape-memory effect" as my hair is permed, but according to their website it's easier to see the effect when you have straight or naturally wavy hair.

My favourite is definitely the hair mist, as it works with the heat and I think that is just amazing. Gosh my hair looks amazing in this photo, I love this colour called "Mermaid Ash" which is my favourite colour. I always get this colour, every 3 month, but it only lasts for a week as my hair cannot hold it :( 

What's your favourite haircare products at the moment?

Cooling sensation for your scalp! Yuzu-Yu Hair Mask

Yuzu-Yu Hair Mask
Yuzu-Yu is a brand that is famous for their hair oil with yuzu oil. Yuzu makes your hair soft and shiny, while stimulating blood circulation when you apply it on your scalp. This hair mask contains yuzu oil along with menthol for a cooking sensation, and chili and ginger extracts for a warming sensation, that gives you kind of like a spa-treatment session at home. What a unique concept, isn't it?

The texture is pretty thick. It supposed to smell of yuzu, which is a fresh citrus scent with a little bit of bitterness, but it smells more like menthol unfortunately. I wouldn't want my hair to smell of menthol, but I thought to give it a try. 

After shampooing, I applied it on my scalp as well as on my hair. Usually you need to be careful not to apply hair mask that contains silicone as it tend to clog the pores on your scalp, but with this hair mask you don't need to worry about that because it doesn't contain silicone, artificial fragrance, colouring and parabens. 

The cooling effect kicked off immediately, and after 3 minutes my scalp felt so cool that almost felt like tingling. I was waiting for the warming sensation to start, but it didn't. After 5 minutes, I couldn't be bothered to wait any longer so I washed it off. 

My scalp felt cool for another hour or so. I do not recommend it to use in winter, as you will need an extra blanket to sleep with. But in summer, especially in Japan it's always super hot and humid, it will be perfect to use on a pamper night. 

And it made my hair SO soft and kind of fluffy, that is much better than having a limp and flat hair. Considering the fact that I applied it on my scalp, meaning the roots of the hair were completely covered with the moisturising hair mask, it's just amazing, isn't it?

My hair tend to get tangled when I use hair mask without silicone, but it didn't happen with this one. The only downside is the scent. I personally want my hair to smell good, and I want the fragrance of hair care products to be pretty strong and long lasting. This hair mask leaves a subtle scent of menthol (forget about yuzu, you don't smell it at all) that is not an amazing scent. I wish it had a nice pleasant scent like Macadamia :(

Anyway I can see myself using it in summer on a weekly basis to refresh my scalp. Have  you tried this kind of hair mask? What's your thoughts?

Sparkling scalp treatment

Artnature CF Sparkling 1890yen
I was familiar with this kind of product from a long time ago because my hair dresser uses it after shampoo, but I never thought I could have it and enjoy it at home. Basically, this is like lotion for your scalp that comes out in a very cold foam, and it fizzes.

It's got a cooling effect as well as odor eliminating and dandruff prevention. You can use it after shower or playing sports to refresh, or you can use it to maintain the healthy scalp. 

The nozzle looks like this. You just push the nozzle against your scalp, then the lotion comes out. Then you just massage it into your scalp, then voila! It instantly refreshes your scalp and possibly mind as well!

This is what it looks like when the foam comes out. You can see it's fizzing. You can actually hear it fizzing, and it feels so cool and refreshing. The scent of fresh grapefruits is uplifting as well.

I use it mainly when my hair is still damp, before blow-dry. I just apply like 7 pushes all over my scalp and massage it in. It makes my scalp feel lighter somehow, and it prevents it to get dry.  It's not a must-have product but still very unique and nice to own.  

Do you do any special care to maintain healthy scalp? 

My Best Beauty Finds in 2013

Michael Todd Blue Green Algae Toner  
This is a very refreshing toner that I was loving throughout the summer, autumn and winter. It has blue green algae, organic kelp, hyaluronic acid and teatree which help to maintain an acne-free, moisturised skin. It smells so refreshing that I'm totally addicted to it! I apply it on a cotton pad and gently wipe my face with it. It's the perfect balance between refreshing and hydrating.

Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask
I don't need to write too much about this product, do I? There are so many amazing reviews about it, and I've written my in-depth review of this peach-smelling face mask a few weeks ago, so I'm not going to ramble about it here again, but my skin can't be the same without it. It smells amazing, feels brilliant on my skin, and the result is very impressive.

Nourish Revital-Eyes Eye Cream
I use it every morning and night. It contains peptides, amino acids, B vitamins and antioxidants to boost natural resilience against signs of ageing, and it also helps to reduce the pigmentation of my dark circles too.

LUSH Let the Good Times Roll
Thank you LUSH so much for making such a wonderful cleanser!!! It looks, feels and smells of cookie dough. If you love sweet scents like I do, it would be your dream come true to cleanse your face with cookie dough, isn't it? Plus it's super moisturising, perfect for dry skin. Thank god it's now available all year round.

Predia Spa et Mer Fango Double Cleanse
It's a very luxurious cleanser that makes you feel like you're in a spa. It gently removes my makeup without any oily residue, while moisturising my skin. It smells heavenly too.

Soap and Glory Smoothie Star Body Lotion

It smells very sweet and nutty without being overpowering. I'm not sure when I'll be able to use up this massive bottle, but I've been enjoying it very much since I got it in Jan 2013. It doesn't make my skin feel greasy at all yet hydrate the dry parts perfectly. And the scent lingers for hours.

Soap and Glory Sugar Crush Body Butter Cream  
Well...it might beat Smoothie Star to be honest! It smells like sweet yogurt when I open it but once it's settled on my skin it smells like sweet brown sugar with a hint of lime as it claims! Although this one is butter cream which must be heavier than body lotion, I feel that this one is lighter than Smoothie Star Body Lotion actually. I love them both anyway.

It's a 10 Miracle Leave-in Conditioner plus Keratin
The most effective leave-in conditioner, ever! It worked wonders on my hair, it made my hair silky smooth without any tangles. That's unbelievable because my hair is usually very frizzy, dry and very easy to get tangled. Plus it smells like hair salon. Bonus.

Soap and Glory Hand Food 
Love this hand cream! It's quite thick but doesn't make my hands feel greasy or over moisturised if that makes sense. I reapply it every 30 minutes at work just to enjoy the scent. Oh, and to hydrate my hands.

Soap and Glory HAND MAID  
Yes, Soap and Glory again. I hadn't used any hand sanitizers until I bought this one in London in March. It smells divine, lighter than Hand Food although it's the same scent. 

MUA Undress Me Too Palette
Such a useful palette for 4 pound! Although the staying power isn't great, the pigmentation is amazing overall and the shades are all wearable on daily basis. I love creating greyish smoky-eye look with the silver, purple and dark grey.

Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick / Notting Hill Nude
I've been wearing this lipstick none-stop since I got it. It's not completely matte but it's not shimmery or glittery. It has this rosy undertone to it that doesn't make my whole face like a zombie.
L'Oreal Glam Shine Stain Splash / Pink Resistance
I believe this shade is not available either in Japan or the UK, but if you love a very natural coral-pink shade, you should get it from eBay! It's such a beautiful shade that makes me look healthy. I love how it's buildable, too.

Rimmel London Exaggerate Undercover Shadow Primer
I purchased it because I couldn't afford the hyped-up primer from NARS, and I'm glad I did! It works really well as a primer, although it's doesn't have a colour-correcting effect. My eyeshadows stay much longer when I use it underneath them, and it's super affordable.

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer
I'm so glad I did purchase it in London in March. I have shade1 and 2, that I use on my dark circles. I don't find them too drying as some people claim, but I wish they had more shades.

Max Factor Clump Defy Volumising Mascara
Such a good mascara, isn't it? It really doesn't make my eyelashes clumpy, it just coats each eyelash that I don't need false lashes at all! I wish I could buy it here in Japan.

Maybelline Volum' Express The Rocket Mascara
My favourite mascara that I can buy in Japan for sure. I like it better than Falsies just because it makes my eyelashes fuller than Falsies, which I found the formula was a little bit too wet for my liking. I love this mascara so much that I'll repurchase once I run out of it.

Maybelline Dream Touch Blush / Peach
In 2013, I fell in love with cream blushers. I also liked the one from Bourjois, but this particular shade easy to wear with any kind of makeup, in any seasons. It feels pretty wet on the skin but once you blend it out with Stippling Brush from Real Techniques, it creates this pretty cheeks that looks like it's from within.

Maybelline ColorTattoo Metal / Barely Branded
This shade works amazingly as an eyeshadow base! It's such an elegant campaign colour that I wear every single day underneath any eyeshadows. I just hope it doesn't dry out until I actually hit the pan.

What are your best beauty products you discovered in 2013? Let me know!

Hope you have a happy new year!

Herbal Essences Touchable Smooth

Herbal Essences Touchable Smooth
I love the signature scent of Herbal Essences. I used to use their shampoo and conditioner when I was in highschool, and I had a very happy reunion with them a few months ago when I got their camomile shampoo and conditioner to review. Now I've used them up I kind of miss the amazing scent. So when I saw this leave-in conditioner at the local drugstore, I couldn't just walk pass. It smelt amazing, just like the shampoo and conditioner did. It was about 700yen I think, and I thought it wouldn't hurt my wallet. 

As a leave-in conditioner, it does an OK job. Nothing special, but nothing rubbish. I apply it on my damp hair before brow-drying, to detangle my fine hair. It leaves my hair silky smooth with the pleasant scent. The scent lingers for hours which is very good. But besides that it's just an average leave-in conditioner. I don't think I will repurchase it just for the scent, but I will enjoy using it until it runs out. Do you have anything like this in your country from Herbal Essences?

LISSAGE Vogne Extra Hair Change

LISSAGE Vogne Extra Hair Change 3,150yen
I am very fussy about hair care products. My scalp can be pretty sensitive so I don't like shampoo that strips the oil from my scalp. My hair is very limp and fine, which means I have to use shampoo and conditioner that give volume in my hair. But at the same time, it's very dry and damaged -which means it needs deep conditioning hair mask which doesn't weigh it down. It's hard to satisfy someone like me. 

I usually don't like Japanese haircare products because they are suitable for thicker hair (Can you believe that we only have a few volumising products here? Japanese people have thicker hair so they don't want volume-they would rather sleek it down). I once tried out hair treatment from a Japanese brand and although it was very moisturising, it made my hair completely flat and even greasy. It's a hard work to find a perfect hair mask from a Japanese brand which suits my hair.

So anyway, for that reason, I was very careful when I got this hair mask to review. Look at it, it's got this very thick consistency which is almost like a rich balm. It might weigh my hair down...I thought. But actually, it works amazingly on my hair. Once I apply this hair mask, my hair instantly feels like silk and it detangle my hair within a second. They recommend you to apply it holding your hair between your palms as if you are sealing up your cuticles. Then leave it for about 5-10 minutes and rinse if off. I always follow that direction and it works like a miracle. 

It leaves my hair so soft and silky without making it look flat. It's very hydrating but not heavy at all, which is great for my hair type. It also has this pleasant scent, almost like a perfume from Chanel or LANCOME or Dior....you know what I mean, those kind of sophisticated, luxurious scents. I usually don't like those scents but this one isn't overpowering at all and leaves amazing scent in my hair.

Because it's a very rich hair mask, a little bit goes a long way. I am not even sure when I would be able to finish this big jar. 3,000yen for hair mask seems quite pricey, but when I consider about the performance and how little amount I need per time, I don't think it's overpriced. Or maybe I feel that way because I cannot find more affordable hair mask from a Japanese brand that I like. 

I'm always on the hunt for a good hair mask. What's your favourite?

October Must-Haves

It had been pretty hot in Tokyo until the beginning of October this year. I didn't need a jacket at all to go to work as long as I had a cardigan in my bag. But from the middle to the end of October it got colder and the air was much drier. My skin reacted immediately. It became much drier and makeup -especially foundation- didn't look as good as it used to be on my face. These items that I'm going to talk about today are the ones that I couldn't live without in October.

NUXE Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm

To be honest with you, I'm not sure whether this is the best lip balm in the world or not. Probably not, but still I love this lip balm. It has this subtle scent of lemon and honey which I love, and the texture is so rich and moisturising. It's pretty heavy so I only use it at night. You might think it's a bit pricey for a lip balm but actually it lasts forever. I've been using it for a year now but I just have no idea when I would be able to use it up.

Glonaturals Face Cream
I purchased this face cream from Vitacost. This brand Glanaturals is their original brand which came out a few months ago I believe, and I purchased this particular cream as it contains argan oil and hyaluronic acid that looked like a perfect face cream for winter. I loved it as it feels like a whipped cream on my skin somehow! BUT after a week of use, I realised that it was giving my skin tiny rash. I didn't want to think it was because of this product but once I stopped using it, the rash had gone. When I took this photo I was still thinking it was saving my skin from a hell of dryness....and maybe it was, but it worked in a wrong way as well. But my mum is enjoying using it very much, so it's just that my skin didn't like it.

Nourish Revital-Eyes Eye Cream
I just wrote a depth-review about this amazing eye cream, so I'm not going to go on and on about it here. But believe me, this is the best eye cream I've ever used.

CODINA Argan Oil
I believe Codina is a French brand. You can get a lot of use out of this pure argan oil. My favourite way of use is to apply it after face cream to add more moisture. A good pure argan oil doesn't stay on the skin surface for long, it instantly sinks in. It has a nutty and fruity scent which is of course natural, which is not particularly a good smell but I don't mind at all. You also can use it on your hair, cuticles and body. It really saved my dry skin.

Moroccanoil Light Oil Treatment
I have fine, limp and damaged hair. Oils tend to weigh my hair down but this one doesn't. It smells like vanilla extract that you put in a cake dough combined with sophisticated-smelling perfume, but not overpowering at all. I apply it only on the ends of my hair after blow-drying and it prevents my hair to get tangled through out the day.

AESOP  Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm

Looking for a hand cream which is not sticky or greasy yet hydrating, plus smelling amazing? You should try this hand cream. This could be your dream one! My mum gave it to me on my birthday this year and since then I'm obsessed with this product. It smells of lavender, orange and rosemary that you must be able to imagine how good it is. It absorbs super quickly when I apply it on my skin, it just instantly disappears. I just applied this hand cream on the back of my hands as I'm writing it, and after like 5 seconds it's completely gone. Now my hands are very smooth and silky as if I haven't applied anything but do have naturally hydrated soft skin if that makes sense. I always have this hand cream in my bag or on my desk and keep applying it just to enjoy the scent, which makes my hands hydrated as well.

What was your October Must-Have? Let me know!