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Showing posts with label Skincare. Show all posts

Hada Labo Gokujyun Premium Oil Jelly


Hada Labo Gokujyun Premium Oil Jelly 
During the cold season, I sometimes feel my skin needs intense moisture. As I have combination skin I don't suffer from dry or chapped skin, but when I was younger -until the age of 25- I had really dry skin that sometimes I couldn't even laugh as my skin felt so tight because of the dryness. Whenever I had really really dry skin that none of my moisturiser worked, I applied a very thin layer of Vaseline to protect the skin. But it felt awful on the skin. Very greasy and sticky. Since then, I haven't had a good impression about Vaseline that I hadn't owned it even...until I got Hada Labo Oil Jelly.


The base of this 'jelly' is something called Super Vaseline which melts at 35 degrees which is about the same as our body temperature. It's so soft that you might be able to tell from the photo above, I put my finger in and it instantly started melting that it literally felt like jelly.


It doesn't feel heavy and tacky like normal Vaseline, it's more like a gel consistency when applied to the skin. It contains polymer that makes the skin feel smooth, and it works amazingly that you cannot tell that you just applied Vaseline 30 seconds ago. I was expecting it to be sticky, but I was completely wrong. It's not sticky AT ALL! Also it doesn't have any scent to it which is perfect for those who are sensitive to fragrances.


It's easy to carry it around in your makeup bag as it's compact, and you can apply it on the skin on top of your makeup as it's so light. You also can use it on your hands, nails, hair and lips! It completely changed my perspective about Vaseline. Well done Super Vaseline, you really are super!




bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream


bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream £26.00
Are you into this 'No Makeup Makeup' look? Are you confident on your skin? You don't like foundation yet want something to even out your discolouration? If you answered yes to any of the questions, you will like Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream from bareMinerals. I had seen quite a few beauty bloggers raving about it so I was pretty excited to receive it to review.



The shade I got is 03 Buttercream. I first thought it was too yellow for my squinting, but it actually didn't matter -because it's so sheer that you can't tell its shade. It definitely gives a natural glow. Not a glittery glow, a very fresh skin-like glow.

My skin has been behaving well recently, but as I got older my pores appeared bigger. So even when my skin is clear I have to be really careful not to emphasise my pores by any products putting on my skin. And this tinted cream kind of does make my pores visible and noticeable. I think one of the reasons is because it gives the natural glow that reflects lights that makes each pore stands out.

It also makes my skin a little shiny and greasy throughout the day even if I set it with powder. I have to use extra blotting paper when I wear this cream. I have to test it longer during the winter to judge fully whether it makes my skin greasy even in the cold weather or not, as it just started getting cooler in Japan (finally!).

However, it's a wonderful cream if you have dry skin with smaller looking pores. I want to introduce this cream to myself in my early twenties when I had really dry skin. Any foundation made my skin look dry which made it look older, and in winter it sometimes peeled off even. It would work amazingly on dry skin giving a natural shine and glow.


I definitely recommend this cream to young, dry skin that needs a little bit of something rather than being bare-skinned. It's got SPF30 PA+++ which makes it a perfect base product to wear when you go walk your dog -or just going to a supermarket on a lazy weekend when you don't want to put makeup on. Consider it as a slightly tinted moisturiser that makes your skin look healthy and dewy.

If you have oily to combination skin, you might not like this. Avoid purchasing it online, go to the shop and test it on your skin, see if you really like it for a couple of hours at least. If it doesn't make my skin greasy during winter, I might wear it underneath my foundation, but not on its own because of the pore-emphasising effect.

Have you tried this cream yet? Do you think it's worth the hype?



The most unique cleanser ever! ettusais jelly mousse face wash


ettusais jelly mousse face wash  1,500yen

Though I love skincare and paying attention to my skin, washing my face had never been my favourite thing to do especially in a cold winter morning. But this product, came out in Feb 2015, actually made this boring process enjoyable. 

If you don't know, ettusais is a Japanese beauty brand that has both makeup and skincare ranges. I have tried some of their products in the past, but had never been a huge fan as I always thought their products were too expensive for its quality. However, this product is worth the price and I might repurchase it once I've used up my current one.



This unique face wash comes in a aerosol can that dispenses gel cleanser. You apply this gel on your face -it can be used on both dry or wet skin-and the gel gets into your pores to draw impurities and dirt.


Then as you massage your skin, it instantly lathers and creates rich and dense foam. This thick foam does not only feel great on the skin, but suitable for sensitive skin, since it works as a cushion to prevent your hands to rub your skin too hard. Washing your face with a rich foam has been a popular method among Japanese women for ages, but I had never been a fan because 1) I couldn't be bothered to lather up a cleanser 2) It never felt like my skin was clean afterwords for some reason. But with this product, my skin feels completely clean without feeling tight and dried up. You might also notice its refreshing grapefruit scent relaxes you while washing your face which I really like.



It's also perfect to use in conjunction with a cleansing brush. I use one from Bellissimo, an Italian brand, and though I only use the softest brush, it sometimes feels very rough on the skin. Using this brush with this cleanser makes it feel less harsh and actually, it works brilliant together. Are you on the hunt for a new cleanser that is actually fun to use? You've got to try it ;)

YSL Forever Youth Liberator Lotion


YSL Forever Youth Liberator Lotion 

I had never been interested in the skincare range from YSL.I know everyone's crazy about their lipstick, but I'm not interested in that either just because they don't have the shade that I like (which is good for my purse). But now I've tried this new release from YSL, which just came out in Japan on 23.Jan, I am keen on trying some other products from them. 

This new addition to their Forever Youth Liberator range, claims to energise your skin cells. It contains the ingredient 'Glycan Active CP' which finds damaged cells on its own, and tries to repair them. It also prepares the skin for efficacy of a serum or moisturiser that you uses after this. 



As it's a thick lotion, you don't need a cotton pad to apply it unless you love cotton pads so much that you just want to use it anytime. As I mentioned before, I am against using cotton pads too much on my skin, as the friction causes irritation and pigmentation around the eyes and nose. When the lotion is runny, I have no choice but to use lotion otherwise I tend to apply like a drop of lotion. But this lotion feels almost like serum, which I can apply with my palms.


I expected it to be too moisrutising and heavy on my skin by the looks of it. But it actually absorbs quickly,and leaves my skin surface silky smooth without being too sticky. I apply a little bit on my palms, then on my face, leave it for 30 seconds or so, and repeat the same process. My skin feels so supple and plumped when it's completely sunk in. 

Since I started using this lotion, I feel that the oil production of my skin is balanced, that my skin isn't shiny during the day. As this lotion is great, I feel like I don't need to apply serum on top. You may not need one if you're in 20's and have no specific concern.



The plastic bottle looks pretty with this pink to purple ombre pattern. The scent of the lotion is much more subtle than I expected, which must not be offensive for anyone. It's such a lovely lotion that is definitely luxurious and pricey but is worth it. I was lucky enough to be able to try this out before it came out, and I'm now hooked!

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 :)

SKINCARE
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!

Cult serum match-up -SK-II and Estee Lauder

 

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair is a cult product in the UK as well as in Japan. It's one of the best selling serums in Japan, and it's chosen to be the best beauty product in beauty magazines almost every year. SK-II Essential Power Essence, also, is a very popular serum in Japan. As you know SK-II is a luxury skincare brand that represents Japanese beauty brands. As SK-II is even more expensive than Estee Lauder, I had never tried anything from the brand until when I was given the serum to review on my Japanese blog a few months ago. I almost finished my bottle, so I thought it's a time for me to do a comparison review on two cult serums!


Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair 
I totally understand why people have been raving about this serum. And also, why people spend quite a lot of money on this serum. Because it's definitely worth it. Apparently this super serum reduces wrinkles and lines while hydrating the skin. As you can guess from the name, it's a night serum that you apply before bed, and it helps your skin to recover from the damages it received during the day while asleep.





The scent did not impress me when I first used it, it's very subtle yet herbal and medicinal. I expected a floral scent because their products tend to smell good so I was a bit surprised at first. The texture is very loose, it goes on like a lotion when applied on the skin. It sinks in quickly, and leaves a slight stick film on the surface. It doesn't feel uncomfortable at all especially when a night cream is applied on top.

It's the next morning you notice your skin is in a better condition. It's plumped, hydrated yet not greasy or oily, and most importantly (at least to me) the pores have been shrunken. I was shocked to see how minimised my pores were when I tried it for the first time. It's definitely effective and I will continue using it until it stops working on my skin.




SK-II Essential Power Essence
Now let's talk about SK-II, A friend of mine has been using SK-II for years and she raves about the brand. People assume that it's cheaper in Japan as it's a Japanese brand, and I have no idea how much they are in other countries, but believe me their products are super expensive here in Japan as well.  This serum is 16,500yen, which is about $137.5 ($=120yen). I was excited to try this out because I would never be able to afford it yet I was very curious to find out what is so amazing about it.


This serum contains Pitera, just as other products from the brand,  which is full of vitamins, amino acids and minerals that work together to allow the skin’s natural surface rejuvenation process to function at its prime. Pitera is said to have a strange smell, but I didn't pick up the smell at all as this serum smells very nice and floral. To me it smells like a floral earl grey tea. 

When I looked at the ingredient list, I was shocked to find out how many different types of silicons it contains. And as expected, it feels very siliconey that it almost feels like a primer rather than a serum. It's said to plump up your skin and minimises the pores, but it didn't sink into the skin at all and I didn't feel that it was working. It would just sit on my skin and stay there until I wash my face in the morning. It contains polymer that plumps your skin temporally, and it did work I think because the shape of my pores slightly changed from oval to round, which is a sign that it's plumped. But that's the only thing I noticed about my skin since I started using it. It didn't break me out but didn't do a fantastic job either. For 16,500yen serum, I was pretty disappointed.

Overall, I much prefer Advanced Night Repair because it did actually work. I ended up giving my SK-II serum to my mum and she is loving it. She says it plumps up her skin and it feels much smoother. She is 52 (yes she was quite young when I was born) and I guess that must be the appropriate age for the brand. I might try SK-II when I'm older, but if you are in your 20's or 30's, you might want to wait a bit more to spend a lot of money on their products. Just my opinion though!
 

Autumn Skincare Routine 2014


As I often receive requests for a skincare routine post, I am sharing my autumn skincare routine today with you today.

To cleanse my skin in the morning, I use Peaches and Clean from Soap and Glory. I only use it in the morning to cleanse my skin, as it doesn't remove my makeup at all (though they claim it does).  It smells like fresh peaches which is refreshing in the morning, and does not strip the natural oils of the skin. Then I apply Organic Rose Skin Conditioner to balance out skin's pH balance. Though it's a very affordable product around 1,000yen mark, it's such a lovely lotion that moisturises my skin without making it greasy. 

I have been enjoying Superdefence SPF20 from Clinique since I got it in spring. It does leave a slightly oily feeling on the skin, so I blot with tissue before applying a makeup primer on top. It protects my skin from the sun damage and dryness, I love how it gets two jobs done within seconds! I use Superdefence SPF20 Eye Cream from Clinique to finish off my morning skincare routine. The formula separates for some reason and I need to shake the tube before use to mix the liquid and cream. It's kind of annoying that sometimes just liquid comes out and it makes a mess, but I still love this product because it hydrates the eye areas that tend to get dry, and creates a perfect base for concealers that I pile on later.




In the evening, I change up skincare products depending on my skin condition. To remove makeup / cleanse, I love using Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm from Clinique. It's very similar to the Chamomile Cleansing Butter from The Body Shop (and the Chamomile one smells divine whilst Clinique one is fragrance-free) but much more powerful in my opinion. You literally need a tiny bit to remove makeup, which makes this big jar last for ages. I use Badger Organic Beauty Balm Damascus Rose when I don't mind using a muslin cloth which I usually avoid. It smells divine and makes me feel relax.

After cleanse, I apply Even Better Essence Lotion from Clinique with the palm of my hands. It's moisturising yet not too heavy, I can literally feel that it makes my skin supple. It has an odd smell (very subtle though) which I am not a big fan of, but I still enjoy using it as it works really well.

SK II Stempower Essence is a serum that I've been using for about 3 months now. It smells like tea to me! It's got a very silicone-y texture and makes my skin surface silky smooth. It claims to reduce the appearance of pores on the cheeks but to be honest, that hasn't happened. For a 16,500yen serum, I have to say that it's not worth it. I will try to use it up as it feels nice on the skin, but I don't think it's doing anything. Advanced Night Repair from Estee Lauder is much better!

I choose a moisturiser depending on how dry my skin feels. When it feels very dry, which is rare, I use Dew Superior Concentrate Cream. It's a heavy moisturiser that felt too much in the warmer season. It melts on the skin and creates a barrier on the skin surface which protects it from dryness. It has collagen and hyaluronic acid to replenish the skin. It feels a little oily but my skin looks fresh and plumped in the morning!

I'm on my second jar of CyberWhite HD Advanced Brightening Night Creme and I absolutely love it. I'm not sure about the brightening affect, but it's such a lovely moisturiser to use all year round! Not too heavy, not too light, glides on like whipped cream, smells divine...the only downside is the price and the heavy jar. 

When my skin needs an extra tender care, I add a couple of drops of Terracuore Damask Rose Dew Oil . If you love a rose scent, you will love this oil. I talked about this amazing facial oil HERE so I'm not going to ramble about it again but this has been my skin saviour!

Lastly I apply an eye cream. You can use a serum instead but I recommend you to use an eye cream which is especially made for the skin around your eyes, if you are older than 25. I have tried many eye creams in my life as I have really bad dark circles and when the skin around there is dry, it looks super cakey and wrinkly when concealers are applied. I got a sample sachet of Midnight Recovery Eye from Kiehl's a few months ago and the shop assistant told me that it combats dark circles. But then I saw some YouTubers raving about Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado. I went back to the shop and asked what the difference was. She told me that the avocado one is for younger skin, especially for ones who don't have any specific concerns. It replenishes the skin around the eyes, which makes it look like the wrinkles are gone. She recommended Midnight Recovery Eye for my skin because of my concerns. And it works wonders. It definitely reduces the appearance of wrinkles and dark circles even when I'm lacking sleep. It smells lovely, feels very light yet moisturising, there's nothing to complain about this amazing eye cream. 

It got much longer than I expected... Thank you for reading, and hope you enjoyed it!

Autumn Lush Haul


Though my bathroom isn't as fancy as the ones I see in "Pamper Evening Routine" videos on YouTube, I still like having a long bath in autumn and winter. I have loads of bath soaks, bath salts and bath oils sitting on the shelf, but I needed to buy some bath bombs from LUSH when the Halloween and Christmas products came out.



As my skin doesn't agree with the bubble bars, I picked up bath bombs only. The first one I put in my basket was Luxury Lush Pud. It smelt divine and reminded me of some other Lush bath bombs. Then a shop assistant told me that it was exactly the same scent as Twilight and I thought "Right, that's it!". It smells sweet and calming with Lavender and Ylang Ylang.


Another limited bath bomb I picked up is Northern Lights. It smells absolutely amazing, although I usually don't like Jasmine and Ylang Ylang at all, this bath bomb instantly takes me to heaven whenever I sniff it. I also love the shape of it as it's easier to break. My bathtub is not big and a half or quarter of a bath bomb is enough at one bath.


Avobath was the first ever Lush product I bought when I was in high school. I didn't like Lush at that time because the smell of the shop was overpowering. But when I saw this "best selling bath bomb" and smelt it, I fell in love. Since then I have been a big fan of the brand. Avobath has a subtle lemongrass and bergamot scent which is zingy and energizing yet relaxing at the same time. If I remember correctly, it's got glitter particles. 


And then this is Think Pink which is smaller than other ones. The blend of Lavender, Vanilla and Neroli smells absolutely beautiful. It smells of Lavender when you sniff it, but when it's dissolved it smells more like sweets with a hint of the floral scent. Not overpowering at all and perfect for the colder season. It's got rice paper confetti hearts that look so pretty in the bath.


Last but not least, my winter skincare staple Let The Good Times Roll. It looks and smells like cookie dough. It's a super moisturising cleanser with fine scrubbing particles, which is definitely not suitable for my combination skin during summer. But in the colder season, it's a must-have. It leaves my hands and face smelling yummy which is the main reason why I love it, and also gently exfoliates my skin and makes it silky smooth.

Recently Lush Japan came out with the body lotions that have popular scents such as American Cream, Comforter, Tramp and Olive Branch. I am dying to try the Olive Branch Body Lotion as this is my favourite scent ever. But the annoying thing is that it's online exclusive. It's also limited and I have no idea until when it will be sold. I might as well just purchase it online (it's about 2,000yen) and give it a go. I hope it smells as good as the shower gel! I will write a review when it's arrived. 

Facial Oil Obsession


In the book I'm currently reading, Pretty Honest from Sali Hughes, there is a line that says "I feel sad and frustrated by how many woman have been convinced they must avoid oil to prevent oiliness" followed by another line "I am entirely understanding about why oil-free moisturisers are a more comfortable, matte and practical make-up base by day, but I would still advocate a light facial oil at night".

I have dry skin during winter, and it becomes more like combination skin in spring and summer. Which makes it hard for me to fully understand what it's like to have oily skin all year round, but I believe what Sali is saying is true. A good facial oil helps your skin a lot. Today I'm going to share my favourite face oils for different purposes.



For an intensive hydration treatment.....
Suki Balancing Facial Oil $32.95
This amazing oil specially made for oily to combo skin is from an American brand called Suki.  I have used their brilliant face scrub before and since then I fully trust their products. I got this oil from Vitacost.com (I put the link above), and I am so glad I did.


According to the website, what this oil does is this : "Non-clogging sebum equalizing complex™ - jojoba, borage & hazelnut – matches skin's own complex chemistry balancing designed specifically to deeply deliver perfect hydration for overall harmony"

I apply it on my face after cleansing it, and massage for a minute or so. Then I place a hot towel on my face and relax until the towel gets cold. Once it's cold, I heat it up again, then do the same until I feel that the oil is fully absorbed into my skin. The blend of lavender and chamomile essential oils helps to relax as well.


Once the oil has sunk in completely, I apply lotion and moisturiser as usual. My skin feels like a baby's butt whenever I do this, this is definitely my favourite way to pamper my skin.




For cleansing.....
Badger Organic Beauty Balm Damascus Rose $13.59
I was inspired to use this balm as a cleansing balm when I read a blog post by Alix from I COVET THEE. In this post HERE, she is introducing this balm from Neal's Yard as a cleansing balm. But this is sold as a mositurising balm that you use after moisturiser. 

So I thought, using a balm as a cleansing balm could be pretty good, and I was right. It's very moisturising and surprisingly it does remove makeup too. But one thing you need to be careful is to make sure to use a muslin cloth to remove, otherwise it repels water. I'm not a big fan of a muslin cloth, but I have no choice but to use it when I cleanse my face with this balm. 


The scent is divine, a blend of lavender, rose and chamomile which is pretty soothing and relaxing.




As a serum.....
Terracuore Damask Rose Dew Oil  6,696yen
If you haven't tried anything from this Japanese brand Terracuore, you are missing out. Although I'm not a big fan of organic beauty products, their products are amazing I have to admit. And the weird thing is, their products never broke me out. They have an organic farm in Italy and develop the products in Japan. Their damask rose cleansing milk has been very popular and I am a big fan of it too.


This oil is tiny and pretty pricey but trust me, it's worth it. I use it before or after moisturiser as a serum, depending on my skin condition....or let's say, my mood. It smells absolutely brilliant, it smells like a rose bouquet without being overpowering. I am not a big fan of rose -scented beauty products, as I often find them smelling too strong and feminine, but this one is just beautiful. 


I apply one drop of it on my entire face and leave it as it is until next morning. I admit it doesn't sink in immediately and it does go on my pillow a little bit, but it's not sticky or greasy at all. On the next morning, my pores look smaller and my skin looks plumped. Sometimes I feel that it works better than the expensive serum that I'm using.

Facial oil is definitely effective, and I cannot live without them. I strongly recommend you to try the hot towel treatment with a good facial oil if you are not used to it, because it doesn't leave the oily feel on the skin at all yet it definitely hydrates the skin. What's your favourite facial oil?

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!
 
 
Skincare

  • 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).


 Makeup


  • 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.



My summer 2014 skincare routine


I took photos in May when I received some requests for my skincare routine post, and finally I'm writing about it today! It took me 3 months to do it, and I even used up some of the products I was enjoying at that time. But seriously, all the products I'm talking about today are amazing.


- MORNING -



I take a shower every morning, and use  Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser to cleanse my face. It's kind of a boring cleanser but obviously gentle on the skin. It never irritates my skin and leaves my skin fresh and clean without the tight feeling that I hate. I also love Origins Checks and Balances, which smells of mint mixed with some other essential oils. It's perfect for combination skin as it hydrates the dry areas and gets rid of excess oils at the same time. It leaves my skin more refreshing than Cetaphil does, which makes it more suitable for summer in my opinion. I love love love this cleanser, maybe the best one I've ever tried.

After washing my face, I use Nature Conc Clear Lotion with a cotton pad to gently exfoliate and hydrate my skin. I love using it in the morning because it doesn't leave any greasy feels on the skin. Such a refreshing toner that makes my skin look clearer. Then I use Estee Lauder CyberWhite HD Advanced Brightening Moisture Creme to moisturise my skin. It's a perfect moisturiser for daytime as this siliconny texture creates a smooth skin surface and my makeup would sit very nicely on top of it. I also love using Clinique Superdefense Daily Defense Moisturizer SPF 20 especially on my day off when I don't wear makeup as it protects my skin from the sun. 

Then I apply Superdefense SPF 20 Age Defense Eye Cream from Clinique. I love the idea of this eye cream having SPF effect, as my eye areas tend to get dark spots more than any other parts of my face. I apply the sunscreen from Origins as well, it's a little greasy to be honest but it leaves the right amount of oil once blotted. It's a shame it's only sold in Asia!


- Night-time -


RAFRA Balm Orange is definitely one of the best cleanser when it comes to removing makeup and leaving the skin super smooth at the same time. It literally smells like orange juice, and the consistency is much thicker than normal balm cleansers which warms up on the skin and gently exfoliates and removes makeup and dirt on the skin. It makes your skin feel like a baby's for sure, I promise.

Then I use Clinique Even Better Essence Lotion or Dr. Ci : Labo Herbal Serum to hydrate my skin. Even Better Essence Lotion is such a nice lotion that hydrates the skin without being too heavy. It feels very light on the skin but makes my skin moisturised and kind of plumped. Herbal Serum isn't a serum, but it's got oxygen, 15 different kinds of plant extracts, vitamins, collagen, hyaluronic acid and ceramide. It sinks into the skin very quickly and makes my skin feel fresher and smoother.

To moisturise, I use Estee Lauder CyberWhite HD Advanced Brightening Night Creme. I almost use up one jar, and I've got another one waiting for me to open. I'm not sure if it really does brightens up my skin tone, as I just found some new dark spots around my eyes today (damn myself didn't wear sunscreen until I was like 25) haven't noticed any difference on my complexion, but I love how moisturising it feels on my skin. I also love the scent, it could be a little overpowering for some people but I love it so so so much.

I also use argan oil sometimes to combat dry patches, and Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair (I got a 50ml one the other day, woohoo!) for a special care. Also, RapidLash Eyelash Enhancing Serum is something you need to try out if you haven't tried it yet. It really does make your lashes longer and thicker in a week. I had bald patches in my eyelashes but it made my lashes fuller instantly! I was really impressed, and now I cannot live without it....I don't know what to do when it's gone empty as it's quite pricey and I don't think I can purchase it myself! 


So these are the products I use on my face day and night. I have some more products I'm loving right now, I will make sure to write about them soon!

My Pamper Skincare Items


I use either face mask or face scrub every 2-3 days. Only because I love pampering my skin, and another reason is that I've got too many products that I have to use up. Today I'm sharing my favourite items for pampering my skin.


Life-Flo Warming Pore Cleansing Scrub is another great product I discovered on Vitacost. It warms up on the skin which softens the dirt in the pores and makes it easier to remove it. This charcoal mask has small jojoba beans that gently exfoliates the skin, and it works wonders! It makes my skin so soft and smooth like nobody's business. I just cannot stop touching my face after use. It also smells divine, the blend of rosemary, grapefruits, sage, lemon, juniper and so on. Definitely one of the best face scrub ever!

I rely on Queen Helene Masque Mint Julep when I have pimples or enlarged pores on my cheeks. Especially when I have an occasional painful pimple, I remove makeup and apply a thick layer of this clay based face mask, and wait for 15 minutes. It smells literally like a toothpaste, very minty and fresh, which makes me feel like it's working. Once I rinse it off, my skin feels fresher and cleaner, and it definitely shrinks a pimple. I didn't feel like it was working when I first tried on my healthy skin, but once I used it on my pimple, it showed what it was capable of. 


Pangea Organics Facial Mask is definitely one of the best face masks I have ever tried. It's a little pricey in Japan but it's not too bad on Vitacost. It has unique and effective ingredients such as green clay, white clay,wildcrafted seaweed,organic green tea powder, organic matcha tea powder, wildcrafted Irish moss, acai extract, organic goji berry extract and some other plants extracts and essential oils. It's got gritty bits in it which gently exfoliates the skin, while nourishing and replenishing the skin. It leaves my skin like a baby's butt, and I know many fellow bloggers that are in love with this mask. The only downside is that it stinks, which is bearable for me.

I think I don't even need to say anything about Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask as everyone and their dogs know about it. It's kind of itching on my skin but I cannot stop using it as I can visibly see the result on my skin on the next morning. It moisturises my skin perfectly, getting rid of all the dry patches I had the night before. It smells like peaches to me which smells delicious enough to eat....which I don't. I'm sure it would taste disgusting. It's like a thick cream so I replace my night time moisturiser with it maybe once every 10 days or so. It is a little pricey but it lasts for ages and I will definitely repurchase it once I've run out with the current tube.

  The last but not least, I like using Japanese sheet masks like Lululun. Mine is the one I got in Okinawa last year, it's got the Citrus depressa extract, the special lemon that's native to Okinawa. They have some different varieties you can choose depending on your skin type or a desired effect. The sheet is pretty thick that doesn't break easily, and contains effective ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and vitamins. Thought it's very affordable, the effect it gives to the skin is pretty impressive. Also the packaging is super cute.

What's your facvourite pamper item? Let me know!


My Top Sun Protection Products


It's the end of June, summer is around the corner. Are you protecting your skin from the strong sun? Here are my top sun protection products that I've been loving this summer!

1. Organic Argan UV Cut Spray
Love this UV cut spray not only because it provides long-lasting (and waterproof) UV protection of SPF50+ PA+++, but it smells divine. I don't even need a perfume when I wear this handy sunscreen which you can spray easily on your back, the back of your legs and hair.

2. Clinique Superdefense Daily Defense Moisturizer SPF 20
This moisturiser with SPF20 is perfect for a lazy weekend when I'm not wearing foundation. It has a slight sunscreen scent that I'm not a big fan of, but it goes away after like 5 minutes. Love the fact it gives a matte finish, too.

3. Clinique Superdefense SPF 20 Age Defense Eye Cream
Why don't all the eye creams in the world have SPF? This moisturising eye cream is tinted which brightens up my eye area instantly, while protecting the most sensitive areas to the sun. I am glad that they brought out an eye cream with SPF as I tend to get dark spots around my eyes, and this product makes me feel secure!

4. Origins Smarty Plants CC Cream / Light
I use this SPF20 CC cream to correct my complexion and to protect my skin against UV. I wrote a full-review HERE so I'm not going to ramble here about it, but it's such a lovely CC cream that evens out the skin tone and gives a subtle glow to it. I find the texture a little too heavy for me during summer, but I love wearing it in Spring, Autumn and Winter!

5. Origins Brightening Protector SPF40 PA+++
This is the sunscreen from their brightening range only sold in Asia. I love this one more than Smarty Plants CC Cream during summer, because it has higher SPF and the texture feels lighter on the skin. It doesn't have the sunscreen smell at all, and I enjoy the fruity scent that most of their products have. 

6. Biore Aqua Rich Watery Essence
You can read my in-depth review on this product HERE. It smells of citrus, and has NO sunscreen scent at all. It doesn't feel greasy on the skin, or face, I don't mind wearing it all over my body at all as it feels like I'm not wearing sunscreen! I would repurchase it once I've ran out of this current tube. That's how much I'm in love with this sunscreen!

I like Japanese products when it comes to sunscreen. They usually don't smell of sunscreen at all, and they don't leave your face looking like ghost's. It surprises me how many old-fashioned sunscreens are out there still, as it's even hard to find them in Japan lately. What's your favourite sun protection items?

How to hide pores? Use Natura Patte Primer!


Natura Patte Primer
I remember I didn't have ANY visible pores on my cheeks nor my nose when I was 18. My skin was silky smooth that looked like a porcelain doll's that I didn't need foundation at all. If you are 18 now and thinking exactly the same looking into the mirror, you should try your best to maintain it somehow, by moisturising and nourishing your skin every single day, and not to rub your skin too much with muslin cloth or cotton pads. If you are like me, having quite visible pores on the cheek and nose that you cannot cover up only with foundation, you need this primer. I have been loving this primer since I got it to review in February, especially paring it with Rimmel Stay Matte Mousse Foundation that I wrote about the other day.


What is special about this primer is that it's suitable for dry skin. I found some primer that mattifies the skin and hides pores tend to be drying and emphasises dry patches around my nose especially. With this primer, that never happens. It's got this unique texture that I cannot even describe. It's like a mixture of clay + silicone + mousse that creates a beautiful, smooth and clean canvas on your skin. 

 
Once you try to blend it out, it becomes patchy like this. First I thought "What the hell is going on with this primer, it's going to make my whole face while and zombi-liike!" but don't speak too soon, the patchiness will be completely gone once it's completely blended out. I should actually apologise to the primer for cussing it. Sorry.


Voila!! It hides everything that you don't want to be seen through the foundation without drying out your skin. I only dab a little bit on my cheeks and nose, and a tiny bit on my forehead before applying my foundation, most of the time it's the Rimmel one I mentioned. The foundation glides on smoothly and it creates such a flawless look. 


There is another version of this primer in a blue tube as well, and I believe that one is for mattifying gel for oily skin that I might need that one for summer! I think it's around 1000yen mark which is very affordable, and such a good price for the quality. I recommend it to anyone who wants to cover up their pores without drying out the skin!

What's your favourite primer? Any recommendations?