Friday, April 01, 2016

Japanese (Tokyo) Drugstore Beauty Haul 1.0

Like French pharmacy products, what is remarkable about Japanese drugstore beauty stuff is that you really get a bang for your buck. Consider the treasures you can find for just ¥100 (if we're talking dollar to dollar would equate to RM1) in Daiso a benchmark as to how much they can stretch their dollar. Like I mentioned beforethe place is intimidating. However, don't be put off by the gazillion of products crammed side-by-side with exploding kanji everywhere in a sea of candy-coloured product packaging. Prepare a list beforehand and I assure you that you will be far from disappointed. Besides many of the young staff are able to converse in simple English so don't be shy to ask. Above all there's ALWAYS our good pal Google Translate! Let's embark on the haul journey, shall we :)

Main beauty drugstores like Matsumoto Kiyoshi and Ainz Tulpe are standalone, usually multi-level, stores on their own but you can also find beauty departments in Donki, Loft and department stores. For a first-timer I would say the safest bet is to opt for the Cosme (a cosmetic ranking site) recommended ones (they come with stickers that mention so). I also tend to pick up products that make claims like: 10 units sold every minute! LOL. Me iz an easy sucker heh.

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil in the limited edition Alice in Wonderland packaging. It's kawaii but I would have preferred the original packaging.

I wasn't aware that DHC Deep Cleansing Oil originated from Japan. I was curious to know how effective DHC was with regards to make-up removal as it is widely known for being a champion in that field. It is an olive oil predominant cleanser and smells wispily of rosemary oleoresin (even though in the ingredient list it mentions rosemary leaf oil which usually refers to the essential oil). What I did was use 1 pump on my face and an additional one specifically for my eye-lined eyes. As I spread and massaged the oils all around, I could see it melting my make-up away leaving me with the appearance of a panda. In contact with water, the oil turned milky-ish. It was an easy wash off. My skin felt pretty good: clean with no squeaky stripped sensation.

White = Brightening / Fresh Clear. Pink = Regular / Balance Moisture.

I followed the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil with a LuLuLun mask. I read somewhere that unlike Korean or whatever-else-country masks, the Japanese sheet masks are used long-term. Trust the Japanese to believe in delayed gratification. The smallest Lululun packaging serves 1-week and if you like it you can opt for the 42 pieces one. I found it rather odd that the masks did not come individually packed as my (hopefully not grimy) fingers did come into contact with the other masks in the zip-loc bag. Ignore my whiny complaint, I'm sure this works better for the environment. I like that the mask is scentless and isn't too mucky. I'm now at the pink bag (featuring ingredients such as honey, hyaluronic acid, Panax ginseng root extract, aloe vera leaf extract, bilberry leaf extract, avocado extract, Melia bruises Zillah Kuta leaf extract, horse plantain seed extract, mandarin orange peel extract etc) on my 4th day and I have to confess the results have been great. My skin feels quenched and in combination with the use of DHC currently feels quite smooth.

Rosette Cleansing Paste (most websites refer to this product as Pasta. Initially I assumed it was a typo but it turns out that it is indeed Pasta with reference to the paste consistency that develops when kneading flour and water together.. err OK) in Kaidei Smooth is one helluva popular product especially this Green one aka Sea Clay Smooth for deep cleaning pores. I say this with confidence because it was sold out in 2 stores and almost sold out at the third (2nd last tube left). The mineral-rich fine sea clay formulation containing Tanakura clay and Japanese rose fruit extract is supposed to tighten pores and rid the skin of blackheads. At the 3rd consecutive use, my eczema started acting up so I ceased usage. I suppose at such a short term, I'm unable to determine if there is a difference in my pores but indeed my skin does feel softer. Shame about the eczema though. I believe I can probably only use this product on a weekly basis. 

I learnt about Biore Cleansing Oil Cotton Facial Sheets when IG @sherreenl forwarded this Vogue Australia post to me. To date I have been most successful with Bioderma Crealine H20 Micellaire Cleanser but I'm always open to welcome new products into the mix. I fared poorly with Yes to Cucumbers Facial Towelettes: stung my skin especially my eyelids hence my mild hesitation towards a make-up removing wet tissue product. Much to my delight, the Biore sheet (slightly small in size but is not a grand issue) is underwhelmingly fragranced and immensely tolerable. It wasn't too effective in removing my eyeliner though but otherwise it was remarkable for daily make-up removal.

The Asience Inner Rich Treatment is sugoi-ne. Within the first usage itself I could immediately see positive results on my tired mane (no thanks to multitude of rebonding, dye jobs etc). As the name implies, it's filled with tons of rich sh*t such as Argan oil, Camellia oil (oh them Japs and their tsubaki), Rose extract, Pomegranate extract, Lemongrass essence and White Pearl essence though the scent does not reflect that.. not in the slightest. Granted I would have preferred a milder fragrance for something like this (ever since Bisou BonBon, I've developed a low threshold for synthetic fragrance) but am willing to smell pass this 'cos it makes my hair feel nice.

Pure Smile (watch this space)

I've come to a personal conclusion that all sunscreen products sting my eyes so I've tweaked my search to finding the least eye irritant sunscreen! Allie UV Mineral Moist Neo by Kanebo proves to be a current favourite. It is not heavy, sticky, gunky, neither produces a visible white cast. When I say white cast I mean that pale reflection you get on your face from the zinc-oxide content especially in photos. Allie UV Mineral Moist is waterproof with SPF 50+ PA++++. You hardly find PA (protection against UVA and ++++ means excellent protection against UVA rays) listed in sunscreen products but it is a designation practiced by Japan. Japan(!) why you so efficient one?? Can I, like, hug you??

Sekkisei Sun Protect by Kose (watch this space)

L / R shade: 14 / CL01

Ehmahgerd CanMake Cream Cheek is so damn affordable and is a f*cking good blusher! I read in some places that it is something international make-up artists stock up on during their stint in Japan. The packaging is simple yet delightful like little pockets of stars in my makeup pouch. The shades are so pretty that it took me half an hour to make a decision purchase. The pigments is pretty intense so a little goes a long way. Time to perfect my Momoko blush ("me no shita chiiku" / under eye blush)!

I'm a recent Muji bobby pin convert. Have been using some less than stellar pasar malam ones which had poor grip and a distinct brass scent. These glide on effortlessly and hold my fringe in place so well. 

I can't read kanji but I'm assuming this Roihi-Tsuboko koyok by Nichiban has existed since 1932 (correct me if I'm wrong please). And if something has survived WW2, you can bet it's of substance. I found them highly effective when my feet was breaking down on me, testing out pens to divorce my body. The adhesive is subtle but holds well. There's a mild cooling sensation caused by the camphor and menthol followed by a tolerable pierce of heat as a result of the Nonylic acid (compound found in chilli peppers). Allow the Methyl salicylate to work its magic and you'll find your back renewed (popular use of the plaster). I gave some to le father and now he worships it! They even have cute pictorial guides as to where you can stick those circular pads.

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