Skin care and makeup must-haves for a summer resort

My trip to Hawaii was fantastic!  Since Japan is pretty cold right now, I had to make a huge adjustment to my skin care and makeup when I got to Hawaii.  This is a round up of some products which are essential to me when I travel to a summer resort.
I did a summer must-haves post a few years ago. My summer resort must-haves are a little different, since it assumes that I don’t need to look “work appropriate”.  These are not the only products I brought with me on vacation. These are the products that I brought specifically because of the weather.
BB cream or tinted moisturizer
I like a little coverage even when I’m on vacation, and I also like to look effortless. A BB cream or tinted moisturizer is the right product for me.  Right now, I like the Martha Tilaar Caring Colours BB cream, a local Indonesian product I picked up while I lived in Jakarta.
Eyeshadow that I can swipe on with my finger
I picked the L’Oreal Infallible eyeshadows in Forever Pink and Sahara Treasure, and the Maybelline 24 hour Color Tattoo in Barely Branded. I don’t need a brush to apply these, and they look great just by themselves.
Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Creme Brulee
These were super popular in the beauty blogger world a while ago, and I picked one up in Hawaii. This is another easy product which gives a little bit of color to my lips. I’m looking for a pink-peach one to pick up next – any suggestions?

Skin Care

Broad spectrum spray sunscreen
This time, I bought Neutrogena Wet Skin SPF 85+ because I wanted a sunscreen that I could apply even if I was sweating or wet from the ocean.  It is a little bit hard for me to find spray sunscreens in Japan!
As I mentioned several times before, I apply sunscreen quite rigorously because I don’t want to tan, but unfortunately I did while I was in Hawaii.
A light eye cream
I like to bring a light eye cream to help recover from sun damage.  This is the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair eye cream. It is a light gel which absorbs easily into my skin.
Hair products
Dry shampoo
This is the L’Oreal EverStyle Energizing dry shampoo. I like to use dry shampoo to give my hair some volume at the roots. Dry shampoos are hard to find in Japan.
Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray
When I’m in a summer resort, I like to go for a beachy wavy look. I apply dry shampoo to my roots and this surf spray to the ends of my hair.  This gives me the summer-y look that I want.
I really had a great time in Hawaii, and I am preparing blog posts sharing some of the places I went.  I hope that I can go back to Hawaii soon!
What do you bring when you go to a summer resort?
xoxo, K
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Review: Estée Lauder CyberWhite HD Advanced Spot Correcting Essence Serum

(purchased product)

The weather is (finally) turning cooler in Japan, and it finally feels like autumn. I wear sun protection every day, and since my skin can finally handle moisturizers without breaking out, I am trying out products to reverse the sun damage from this year’s insanely hot summer.  This is another sample product that I bought in Hong Kong.

What it does: (from the Estee Lauder website)
This powerful essence brightens the look of dark spots to virtual invisibility. Dullness disappears. Light seems to come from deep within your skin. Up close, your skin looks flawless, fair, translucent, with High Definition clarity.

Price: $110 for 1 oz.  Wow, this is expensive!!


  • This product is fairly light for a serum
  • Even the sample size comes with a pump!


  • Expensive.  Really expensive!
  • I didn’t notice any lightening of the discolorations in my skin. 

Would I repurchase? No

I realize that products like this take time to work.  Some of the reviews online said that the product worked for them after 4 months. Still, if I am going to invest in such a pricey product, I want to see some quick results so that I can have confidence before repurchasing.

Hope you enjoyed this review!

xoxo, K

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Up and Down #33: May, 2013

No sooner than I get an apartment, I have to move back to Japan.

Someone at work asked me whether this was a personal decision, or a business decision. It was 100% a business decision by the company that I work for. I really enjoy living and working in Indonesia, even though I don’t like leaving home at 5:30 AM every morning, or getting stuck in traffic jams for 2 hours whenever I want to go somewhere.

But… oh well, I guess. I realize that since I moved to Jakarta, my blog has been suffering a little. I don’t have time to travel much, while I previously did a mini travel series for some cities in Japan (link to blog posts for Kobe, Kyoto, Osaka, Fukuoka… a list is in the tags section of my blog). I also stopped cooking as much, when previously I did one cooking post per week. Hopefully, I can start posting more once I’m back in Japan.

On to my Ups and Downs!


This is the last of the Lush products that I bought in Japan.  A review is coming up!


Bioderma cleanser (link goes to review)
I gave this a “maybe” in my review, but I’m growing to like it a lot. It removes my current mascara (it didn’t remove the mascara I wore in my original review), and it is really easy when I come home tired.


I am seriously considering purchasing a full size of this eye cream! I love that it absorbs quickly and does not leave my skin sticky.


Moving AGAIN so soon
I’m bummed that I will be missing Eid ul-Fitr (the festival at the end of Ramadan) by a few days, a HUGE cultural part of Indonesia. I’m bummed that I will be missing the best season for mangoes, one of my favorite fruits. I’m tired of having to pack up and move so frequently – this will make the third time in 12 months.
How was your month of April?
xoxo, K
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Review: Estee Lauder Resilience Lift Firming/Sculpting Face and Neck Creme

(Purchased product)

This is a review of the Estee Lauder Resilience Lift Firming/Sculpting Face and Neck Creme.  This is another of the sample sized products that I bought in Hong Kong.  This product comes in 2 different formulas for Dry and Normal/Combination skin.

What it does: (from the Estee Lauder website)
You want it all-the lifted look, the firmer feeling and the radiance that reflects how beautiful you are. Now look as young as you feel with a multi-faceted, 24-hour lift system. Powered by our exclusive Photo-Activated Lift Complex, Resilience Lift day formulas harness the beneficial power of visible light. Featuring a light-responsive enzyme (Plankton Extract), mineral (Malachite) and plant extract (Mimosa) to help skin amplify its natural collagen and elastin production. Over time, skin’s strength, resiliency and volume are renewed and you’ll see a remarkably younger, revitalized look. 
Price: $94 for 2.5oz (74ml). The sample that I bought was 0.5oz (15ml) and probably cost around $10-15.


  • Very moisturizing
  • The scent is very faint. I can smell it in the pot, but cannot smell it on my skin.


  • It is a little too moisturizing for the warm weather in Jakarta, but it works for me when I’m in Japan
  • I’m not sure it gives me a lifted, firmer face
Would I repurchase? No. While this was a good moisturizer, I was not wowed by it.
While this wasn’t a bad purchase, I definitely did not feel that it was worth the hefty price tag. I’m glad I got a smaller size to try it out first.
Hope you enjoyed this review!
xoxo, K
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Review: Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye

This is a review of the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Eye. This is a serum-like product

I am always interested in trying out high end skin care products. But it takes courage to spend the money! I know that in Sephora and many US drugstores, you are allowed to return or exchange products that are opened, which is truly amazing for me!  Many places I have been won’t even allow you to exchange products that are unopened!

So, how to figure out if a product works for you before you fork over the big bucks?  If you shop in Hong Kong, you can buy samples at the ever-present Sasa and Bonjour.

When I shop at duty free stores or at department stores in the US, I often get small samples as a Gift With Purchase. These high-end GWPs are available for purchase at Sasa and Bonjour in Hong Kong. I always buy a few every time I’m in Hong Kong.  Each product is usually around $10 or less, and I can usually get more than a week’s worth of usage out of them.

What it does: (from the Estee Lauder website)
This silky serum-gel helps dramatically reduce the look of every key sign of aging around the fragile eye area: Fine lines, Wrinkles, Puffiness, Dark circles, Dryness, Uneven skintone 

Price: $52 for 0.5oz (15ml)  This product is 7350 JPY ($80) in Japan. The sample I bought was 0.1oz.

Scent: the scent is extremely faint


  • This product absorbs extremely quickly into the skin
  • My eye area was very moisturized after using this product
  • This product did not leave behind any residue


  • Expensive!  

Would I repurchase? Yes, if I can get it in the US!

This is probably the first time I have been seriously impressed with a high end skin care item! Usually, they claim to perform miracles on your skin, and I get disappointed. This one was really really moisturizing, and my skin felt great!  $50 for 0.5 oz may sound like a lot, but my 0.1 oz size container lasted me more than 1 month. The full size product will probably last me many months!

Hope you enjoyed this review!

xoxo, K

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