Review: Marc Jacobs Honey Eau de Parfum

How do you find a new perfume? I usually become interested in new perfumes after reading magazine articles on them, or I saw something about it online.  Then I smell it in a store, and decide whether I want to purchase it or not. I am really bad about just browsing for a perfume – I tend to get overwhelmed!  If you know of a good online resource which can help me find a new perfume, please let me know!

 

I suppose I found out about the Marc Jacobs Honey perfume in a magazine somewhere.  I like floral perfumes and I like the smell of honey, so this perfume got me interested.  But since I couldn’t find this product in Japan, I didn’t want to commit to a full sized bottle. I’m glad I settled on a rollerball, since I have been using this product regularly but it is still over half full!

 

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What it does: (from the Sephora website)

Honey by Marc Jacobs is a sunny, delicious floral—energetic and alluring, with a sparkling, golden touch. The perfect mix of brightness and warmth.

This buzzing fragrance energizes with the freshness of green pear and a bright splash of fruity punch and juicy mandarin. Orange blossom resides at the heart of the fragrance and mingles with the nectars of honeysuckle and peach for a note of sparkling femininity. Honey, vanilla, and smooth woods dry down to a warm, golden base.

Notes: Pear, Juicy Mandarin, Orange Blossom, Peach Nectar, Apricot, Honeysuckle, Honey, Golden Vanilla, Smooth Woods.

 

Price: The rollerball was $24 for 0.33 fluid ounces. The bottles range from $52-94, depending on the size.

 

Availability: This fragrance is available at Marc Jacobs stores, Sephora, Ulta, as well as department stores.

 

Scent: This is not the strongest floral scent that I’ve tried and is quite fruity. After it dries down, I can also smell some herbally, woody scents.

 

Pros:

  • I like that this scent mixes floral notes with fruity, woody notes
  • This is a light fragrance, and I like to use it in the spring and summer

 

Cons:

  • This scent does not last long on my skin

 

Would I repurchase? Maybe. I liked the scent, and will use up the rollerball. However, I am not sure that I love it enough to commit to buying a whole bottle!

 

Let me know what your favorite fragrance is!

 

xoxo, K

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Review: Shatsu Kooru (“Shirt Cool”) – a cooling spray for your clothes

When I came back to Japan last year, it was EXTREMELY hot. Japan is hot and humid from mid July to mid September, and last year was considered the hottest year in history.  Although it is not quite as hot in Japan this year, I still use many products to keep myself cool.

One product I have been really enjoying this year is “Shatsu Kooru” (“Shirt Cool”), a cooling spray that I spray on my clothes.  The cooling sensation lasts for around 30 minutes, which helps when I walk to the train station.

IMG_5497_finalWhat it does: (from Kobayashi Pharmaceuticals website)
Spray on your clothes, and the menthol will keep you cool every time you sweat.

Price: 500 yen (a little less than $5 USD) for 100ml

Availability: this product is widely available in Japanese drugstores during the summer

Scent: this product smells like straight up menthol.  Apparently there is a floral scented version as well

Pros:

  • I love the (very strong) cooling sensation!
  • This works better than the Seabreeze deodorant for keeping me cool
  • the cooling sensation lasts for a while, which is probably prolonged because the product is applied to your clothes instead of your skin
  • Does not leave any stains or scent on my clothes

Cons:

  • This product works by reacting to moisture (=sweat), so it will not work that well on areas of your body that do not sweat
  • This product is quite strong. If you are not a fan of strong menthol, try the mild version

 

Would I repurchase? Definitely!  This is a summer staple for me, and I apply it every morning before I leave for work and every evening before I go to sleep.

Kobayashi Pharmaceuticals makes many creative (and sometimes strange) products. This one was a hit with me!

 

xoxo, K

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Review: Baby Foot – want smooth heels?

This is a review for Baby Foot.  This is a product which helps dead skin on your feet peel off.

During the summer, a lot of Japanese magazines show how to get dead skin cells off of your feet, especially your heels. Having cracked, powdery heels in considered unattractive by Japanese media. There are a lot of products, such as pumice stones and heel files, designed to help you get rid of the dead skin cells.

Baby Foot is an innovative product in that it promotes getting rid of dead skin cells without using physical abrasives. There are a few other brands of the similar products, but this was the first one that I learned of.

This product has attracted a lot of attention in Japan, partially due to their marketing.  They prominently show pictures of the product in action (links to their website).


The main purpose for me to review this product was to assess whether it was worth the hype. Is it just great marketing, or does the product actually work well?

What it does: (from http://babyfoot.co.jp/e/product/)
Baby Foot series is developed in particular to care for the dead skin cells which produce problems with the sole. The principal ingredient of Baby Foot is Fruit Acid which is very gentle compare to other acid. Fruit Acid penetrates into the layer of dead skin cells and works on the desmosomes between the skin layers, enabling easier peeling. The dead skin peels off naturally due to natural turnover (*1) and friction which occurs every day. In addition, Baby Foot contains 17 types of natural extracts with a high moisturizing power. The foot may be reborn just like a baby’s after peeling. The Baby Foot series is a total foot care series not only for peeling but also for maintaining a healthy foot.


Price: 1680 JPY  (around $22 USD). I felt this was pricey even for Japan, where most drugstore products are above 1000 JPY ($13 USD). 

Instructions:

This is what is included in the box – a plastic bag-type thing, made to look like a sock, with some gel inside. There are two of these in the box, one for each foot, plus some tape.

Instructions are printed on the back of the box.
Put a clean foot inside the bag and tape it shut. After 2 hours, take the bag off and wash your feet.


Here are some additional thoughts I had about using this product:
1. Since the bags have gel inside them, it is really dangerous to walk around with these bags on your feet. Your feet will slide around when trying to walk.
2. Because of the this, consider how you will spend your two hours.
3. There is no immediate peeling. I started peeling 2 days after I did this treatment.
4. I started peeling from the parts of my foot where the skin is thinnest, such as the arch of my foot.
5. The part of the skin that remained the longest was my heel, meaning where my skin was toughest.
6. The skin peels when there is a combination of moisture and friction. I walked outside on a hot, sunny day with sandals and my skin began to peel a lot. Consider where you’ll be while the skin is peeling (for example, I would probably not go on a date until my skin stopped peeling)
7. This product only took off the outermost layer of skin.  The skin on my heel remained tough.

Here is my foot on Day 3
(yep, that gross thing on the floor is a piece of skin)


Here is my foot on Day 5
The red area is where my skin already peeled. You can see that part of the skin is pinker than the rest.
The blue area is where my skin hasn’t peeled yet.  My heel is where my skin is toughest, and the part where I wanted the most dramatic change.



Pros:

  • Actually removes the dead skin cells on the outer layer of your skin
  • Visually interesting

Cons:

  • Does not have a dramatic change on the parts where your skin is thick. 
  • The effect is not long lasting, since your skin will keep regenerating
  • Expensive

Would I repurchase? No. Yes, this is an interesting product, but it did not work well on my heel, which is the area I needed it to work the most on.

My heels are really horrid, as you can see from the picture. If you have had a spa treatment or a pedicure which really gets rid of cracked heels, please let me know!

Hope you enjoyed this review!

xoxo, K

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Review: Gatsby Ice Deodorant Body Paper Ice Citrus

This is a review of the Gatsby Ice Deodorant Body Paper Ice Citrus (yes, that’s the name of the product).

It may be back to school time in US, but it’s still REALLY hot and humid here in Japan.  We are constantly getting temperatures above 35C (95F).  It doesn’t cool down at night, either.  Night time temperatures are around 27C (80F).

When I want to quickly refresh myself, I turn to body wipes, such as these from Gatsby.

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Gatsby is a brand of body care products, mainly directed at men.  The brand is part of the Mandom group, famous in the blogger world for their makeup removers.  In Japan, Gatsby is famous for their deodorants and hair styling products, as well as the commercials featuring Takuya Kimura (of SMAP) and cool dancing!

What it does:
Cool down like ice and wipe away the sticky feeling!  The coolness from these ice deodorant papers will wipe away the stickiness and smell from sweat and leave your skin feeling refreshed.

-Citrus scent that helps you feel cool
-With coolness ingredients, the super cool feeling will last a long time
-Antiperspirant and deodorant (anti-bacterial) ingredients will block sweat and smell
-Papers (25cmx20cm) are thick, large, and soft, so that you can wipe your entire body with just one sheet.
-Free of parabens
(from Gatsby’s website, translated by K)

Price: about 400-450 yen ($4.50-5.25) for 30 sheets, depending where you buy them.  There is also a smaller package.

Pros:
– After wiping my body, the menthol immediately makes my body feel cool and refreshed
– Whatever is in it helps to remove the stickiness I get from sweating
– The cool feeling lasts for a while!!!
– The citrus smell is not very strong
– Each sheet is large (25cmx20cm = 9.8inches x 7.8inches), thick like a good quality paper towel, and is durable for wiping your entire body

Cons:
– This is contained in a bag which is resealed with a sticker, like makeup wipes.  It will eventually dry out.

My thoughts:
This has been my go-to product for this entire summer!  Sometimes I use them when I wake up, and sometimes I use them when I’ve just gotten home from work.  The smaller package would be great to carry in your purse to quickly refresh yourself during the day.

Would I repurchase:
I already have!

I hope that you’re enjoying the last bits of summer!  Summer doesn’t end in Japan until mid-September, and the hot, sticky weather will typically hang around until then!!

xoxo, K

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