Products I would repurchase – Skin Care

This is Part 2 of my series on products I would repurchase or have repurchased.  This time, it’s all about skin care products! I have reviewed all of these products on my blog before, so please click the product name to go to the review.


Skin Care
Keana Nadeshiko Baking Soda Scrub Powder Facial Wash
I mentioned in the review that I would probably not repurchase this again, because I could make this by mixing baking soda with my normal facial cleanser.  However, this is a great product if you are too lazy (like me) to mix it by hand.

Lush Angels on Bare Skin
I actually do not have a review post on this product, even though I have repurchased it multiple times. I have two comparison posts for it (one for the US/UK vs Japan versions, and one to compare it with the Lush Buche de Noel cleanser), as well as a post on how to keep it creamy.
I really need to do a thorough review on it!  This is a great gentle exfoliant, although I would not use it as a cleanser.

Lush Brazen Honey Fresh Face Mask
As I mentioned in the review, this is my favorite Lush Fresh Face Mask and I repurchase it every time I go to the US or to the UK (Fresh Face Masks are simply too expensive in Japan, see the cost comparison in the review post). It is a great exfoliator and I love how it smells.

(stock photo)

Lush Coal Face Cleanser
This is a great cleanser for normal to oily skin. Although I received it as a sample, I’m excited to repurchase it!You can read my review here.

 (stock photo)

Lush Mask of Magnaminty
As I wrote in my review, this is a really minty exfoliator. Steer clear of this if you have sensitive skin as both the strong mint smell and the adzuki beans may irritate your skin.  If you can handle it, it’s a great product!  The Lush Love Lettuce Fresh Face Mask is very similar, so check out that post if you would like to see a comparison between the two.

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes
This is the very best brand of makeup wipes I have used.  They get my makeup off completely but they are not harsh, and the cloth is also very soft.  However, if I use my Clarisonic after using a wipe, I’ll always see a bit of makeup on the Clarisonic.  This doesn’t happen if I use an oil-based cleanser.  I guess wipes don’t remove all of my makeup.  However, if you like wipes, these are the ones I recommend.

Rohto Hadalabo Gokujun hyaluronic acid Eki (toner)
I can’t tell you how many bottles of this I have repurchased. I use up one bottle every 2 weeks, and I rotate through the various Hadalabo toners depending on the season and how my skin feels.

 

 (stock photo)

Soap & Glory The Fab Pore Facial Peel
Yet another great exfoliator!  However, this uses salicylic acid to exfoliate.  Like the Lush Mask of Magnaminty, this has kaolin and menthol to keep the oils under control.

St. Ives Naturally Clear Green Tea scrub 
This is a great exfoliator which is gentle enough to use every day. It is also great as a daily cleanser, and I love the smell.  I cannot wait to get my hands on another tube!

VOV Daily Fresh Mini Pack Apple AHA Peeling Gel
This is a very affordable exfoliant which is also very easy to use.  If you can get to Korea, I strongly recommend you pick up some packets of this mask!

As you can see, I love my exfoliators. I guess it’s because I can immediately feel the difference they have on my skin!

Coming up – body washes and tools I would repurchase!

xoxo, K

Please like & share:

Skin Care – Splurge vs Save

A sweet reader kindly requested a post to share my thoughts on what skin care products you should spend money on, and which ones you should save on.

The more I thought of it, the more I realized that it really depends on what your values are.  There are so many good, affordable products on the market, many which contain very effective ingredients.

In the end, it depends on which type of product you will use correctly.  If the product is too expensive, I will be more likely to skimp on it.  For example, I could buy a $200 serum, but if I don’t use the correct amount, it will not work.

Having said that, I do have a personal guideline: If the product costs more than $50, I need to see results before I use up the product.  I find it hard to be convinced to repurchase a product if I can’t see the results.

Here are my favorite low end and high end skin care products.

Toners
(in Asia, toners are used to hydrate the skin.  Most of them do not contain alcohol.  They are also referred to as lotions)

I go through a bottle of toner every 2 weeks, because I use it as a face mask every morning and night.  Buy what you can afford to use, and use generously!

Low end:  Rohto Hada Labo series (the retail price is around 1000 yen, but I regularly find them at my local drugstore for around 700 yen. Imomoko sells them for $17.50)
This is my favorite toner because it’s cheap and it hydrates well!

High end: SK-II Facial Treatment Essence ($100 for 75ml/2.5 oz, buy here)
Yes, this a super expensive toner.  I love how it makes my skin feel after I’ve used it for 2-3 days, but it is too expensive for me to use regularly.

Facial Moisturizer
Fair & Lovely Skin Clarity Anti-Marks Fairness Cream (Amazon sells them for $10, some Indian online shops sell them for less)

This was in my favorites for (gasp) 2009! I still love it.  It is light but leaves my skin moisturized, and contains whitening ingredients.

I don’t have a high end favorite, unfortunately!

Serum
RoC Multi Correxion Skin Renewing Serum (Walmart says they are $25, Amazon has them for $9)

This totally depends on what you want your serum to do.  I want either to get rid of fine lines, or to get rid of discoloration.  I haven’t found anything that really works for discoloration, though.

Again, no high end favorite.  This is typically the most expensive in any line of products.

Sheet Masks
Low End: Silk Whitia ($16.60/5 pieces on Sasa)
I feel that Silk Whitia has the best products for the price.  My Beauty Diary masks are $12.70/10 pieces, so Silk Whitia is twice the price. Still, I find that they are much more hydrating and they leave my skin smooth.  I need to stock up next time I go to Hong Kong!

High End: SK-II Whitening Source Derm Revival Mask ($160/10 pieces online)
This did AMAZING things for my skin.  I can buy a single piece for around $20 in Hong Kong, but it’s still too expensive for me!

Exfoliation
Low End: Soap & Glory The Fab Pore Facial Peel and Lush Mask of Magnaminty

Soap & Glory The Fab Pore Facial Peel (7.15 GBP at Boots)

I’ve written a blog post about this product, and I really did love it.  It left my skin very smooth, thanks to the salicylic acid.

 

Lush Mask of Magnaminty ($11.95/4.4oz on Lushusa.com)
This mask contains adzuki beans to exofoliate your skin, unlike the Soap & Glory mask which chemically exfoliates.  I’ve written a blog post about this product as well.
 
High end: Cellnique Advanced Bio Renewal Masque ($51 on cellnique.com)

I’ve reviewed this product before as well. This product also chemically exfoliates.  It leaves my skin feeling very soft and smooth.



Sunblock
Low end:Biore Sarasara UV daily care gel (750 yen in Japan, $15.50 on Amazon)
This is the VERY FIRST review I ever wrote, in March of 2009! I still love this product.  It gives me the sun protection I need and is very light on my skin.

High end: Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen SPF 50+ (3150 yen in Japan, around $50 online)
Anessa is a brand of sun protection from Shiseido.  This is the best sunscreen in Japan, hands down.  I do not get any kind of tanning with this sunscreen.  It stays on even when I go diving.  However, it is expensive, and I have to keep reminding myself to use the correct amount.  Did you know that you need to use an entire shot glass worth (1 oz, 30 ml, or 2 tablespoons worth) for the amount of skin that is normally exposed? 
Anessa has several products, so I always remember this as “the gold one”.

I hope you enjoyed my picks!  Remember, skin care does not work if you do not use it correctly!!

xoxo, K

Please like & share:

Winter essentials

Has the Chinook blown in your area?  Over here, it is still very cold and very, very dry.  Here are my winter essentials which are helping me get through the coldest winter I have ever experienced!

1. Sunscreen/sunblock
The sun is still shining very strongly here, even if the temperature is below freezing.  I wear sunscreen religiously to protect my face.  I like Biore Sarasara UV daily care gel because it does not leave my skin feeling oily.  (This product is NOT intended for the face and contains alcohol.  Please be careful if you want to use it on your face!)

(from Kao’s website)

2. Toner
I use a ton of Japanese toner, going through a bottle every two weeks.  Japanese toner, also known as lotion in some lines, does not alcohol.  It is considered an essential skin care step in Japanese skin care.  Most Asian skin care lines, including imported brands such as Dior and Chanel, will have a toner and a separate moisturizers.  I love the Rohto Gokujun line, which is affordable enough that I don’t have to skimp.

 (from Google image search)



3. Cotton
Every morning and night, I soak a few pieces of cotton in toner and put them on my face for about 10 minutes.  The result is the same as a sheet mask.  This method is very popular in Japan, and I really need to do a blog post on it!  I love this Mekuru Cotton.  Yes, it’s very important that I can split this into 5 pieces… but it’s hard to explain why without doing a post!

(from amazon.co.jp)

4. Hair treatment
For the first time in about 15 years, I’m having to battle static electricity!  I like to use a thick hair treatment at least every other day to moisturize my hair, in order to hopefully reduce static electricity.
In Japan, the thick hair treatments are usually called hair packs, and are sold in pots.  The thinner ones are usually called hair treatments and are sold in tubes.  I’m currently using the Pantene Pro-V Deep Repair Hair Mask, a Japan-exclusive product.

(from yahoo.co.jp)

5. Body Lotion
Regardless of which shower gel I use, I need to use a heavy duty body lotion.  Without a nightly application of body lotion, my skin will get dry and itchy.  Considering how obsessed I am with the brand, I would love to try the Bath & Body Works Body Butter in Twilight Woods.

 

 (from the Bath & Body Works website)



6. Lip cream
The cold, dry wind means chapped lips!  I see a lot of girls here with painful-looking bleeding lips!!  My lip cream of choice is Vaseline.  Yes, pure petroleum jelly.  I find that it is the most moisturizing.  I apply a thin layer before I do my makeup in the morning.

(from Unilever’s website)



7. Uniqlo Heat Tech tank tops and leggings
These are lifesavers here.  I wear the tank tops and leggings under my normal clothes.  It’s the same as wearing thermal underwear, but I would rather say I’m wearing Uniqlo leggings!

8. Uniqlo room shoes (slippers)
Long time readers of this blog know that I hate socks.  However, I need to wear something when I’m at home, or else my feet will get really cold.  I love these ones from Uniqlo which are made of sweatshirt material!

(from Uniqlo’s website)

On the other hand, here are some typical winter essentials that you will not see on me:

1. Knits
Most woolen knits make me itch like crazy, even if I am wearing a shirt underneath.  I haven’t worn wool in a very long time.

2. Turtlenecks
I don’t like how I look with turtlenecks.  I love my V-necks and that is what I wear most of the year.  I also seem to have very sensitive skin around my neck, which turns bright red even with cotton turtlenecks.

3. Scarves
I just can’t make them work for me!  I know there are plenty of non-wool scarves, but I just don’t know how to do them properly!!

What are your winter essentials?  Please let me know!

xoxo, K

Please like & share:

Favorite products 2009!

Happy New Year everyone!  Thanks for reading my blog!!!
今年もよろしくお願いします!!!Here are a few of my favorite products for 2009!

I’ve always loved makeup and bath/body products, but blogging really opened up my eyes!

Best Skin Care items:

Lush Brazen Honey Fresh Face Mask
Read my review here!

I got a sample of this while in London and now I LUST over it!
It is three times more expensive in Japan so I won’t buy any here!
(picture from the Lush website)
VOV Apple Vinegar Peeling Wash Off Mask
Read my review here!

I got this in Seoul.  It’s cheap, and it really makes a huge difference in my skin texture!
Fair & Lovely Skin Clarity Anti-Marks Fairness Cream
Blair kindly sent this to me – and I LOVE IT.  It absorbs very quickly into the skin!
I can smell the Niacinamide in it, so I know it will work! 
Thanks Jamilla for letting me know what that smell is!
Rohto Gokujun Hadalabo Hyaluronic Acid toner
This has been my favorite toner (for moisturizing the skin) for a long time!

Best Makeup items:

EDM Intensive foundation in Light Olive
This foundation really gives me good coverage!  While both Golden Light and Light Olive work, this one seems to be a tad more natural!
(picture from the EDM website)
Revlon ColorStay Liquid Liner
This is a cheap (in the US) eyeliner which really stays put!!
 (picture from Amazon.com)
Milani Luminous Mineral Blush
I got this in Guam.  This is often called a Nars Orgasm dupe.  I just like the golden peach color!
I used it with an angled brush since it didn’t show up with a regular brush!
 (picture from Cherryculture.com)
Cover Girl Lash Blast Waterproof 
I’m always on the lookout for good mascaras which give me volume and are waterproof!
(Picture from Covergirl.com)

Best rediscovered item:

False Eyelashes
Most of mine are from Daiso since I always want to try a new kind!

 

And the best glue for falsies – 
This is seriously the BEST falsies glue!  Your eyelashes won’t go anywhere!

Best brand which I now obsess over:

BATH AND BODY WORKS SIGNATURE COLLECTION!!!
I don’t need to explain, do I?
You all know about my obsession, right??

Best Brushes:

EDM Flat Top Brush
Cruelty free, and VERY soft!
This gives me great coverage when using mineral foundation!
AND it’s cheap!
(picture from the EDM website)
EDM Long Handled Kabuki Brush
Similar to the FTK!  I like this one better when applying setting powder!
(picture from the EDM website)
MAC 217 & 239
No explanation necessary, right?  I need to get another one of each!
(pictures from the MAC website)

Best Blogging Experiences:
Going to Guam/Seoul/London and meeting up with bloggers… and meeting bloggers who came to Japan!
Read about my experiences here!  Hope to meet up with more bloggers during my trip to NYC in the spring!


What were your favorite products in 2009?  Please comment, I’d love to know!

I hope you have a great 2010!

xoxo, K

Please like & share:

Haul: May 3rd

This is a small haul I did last weekend.
There isn’t anything very special about this haul, but I just wanted to share what kinds of things I “normally” buy over here.

Kracie bleaching cream
It is for bleaching your leg/arm hair, but I use it to bleach my eyebrows.
Paperdollrevenge commented that my eyebrows are light and the hairs are short.
I like to color my eyebrows lighter than my hair, so I use bleach to do so.

Rohto Hada Labo Shirojun Toner/Lotion
I called it Hada Ken in the video, but actually it is “Hada Labo”.
For whitening and hydrating my face. I’ll show how I use it in another post.
I think this kind of toner/lotion is a fundamental part of skin care for Japanese girls.

Moisturizer with H-acid and Vitamin C for whitening
This is a really light moisturizer, which is a really good thing for me!
I tend to skip moisturizers when the weather is warm, but I know I shouldn’t!!

Shiseido Razors for facial hair

Venus Divine razors

You can see that I’m pretty good about changing my razors every month!

Cezanne Smooth Loose Powder in 01 Lucent
Just a cheap loose powder to tide me over!
Spare rubbers for my eyelash curler!

Super cute oil blotting papers from Kose!

And another book of super cute blotting papers from Kose!


Let me know if you would like reviews on any of these!!
The oil blotting papers look really promising!

xoxo, K

Please like & share: