Japanese

December Empties

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Kosé Medicated Sekkisei Lotion (360ml) – Made in Japan
I’ve stopped keeping track of the number of bottles I’ve gone through since rediscovering it a few years ago. This bottle lasted me four months.
Repurchase? Always.

Hadalabo Gokujyun Medicated Skin Conditioner lotion (170ml) – Made in Japan
Mentioned in my last skin regime update here. This was my first product from the Hadalabo Gokyjyun range. This medicated version has a alcohol/medicinal smell. It’s nothing offensive though and I was never bothered by it. I’m not sure this did anything for my skin, I reckon it would be more suitable for younger acne-prone skin type who aren’t necessarily breaking out from monthly hormones fluctuation. Usually blemish control products tend to be drying but I never felt that with this. The Gokyjyun range are formulated with hyaluronic acid and the world ‘gokyjyun’ pretty much means ‘extreme moisture’. This medicated range is a relatively new member and I think is an interesting range to try if you have problem skin. The only challenge is perhaps locating it, I got mine online from alphabeauty (not affiliated).
Repurchase? I will try the Premium Rich one next. (more…)

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ettusais Premium Amino Caviar Cream

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from official website

Mentioned in my last skincare regime update, I’ve been using this cream for about a month now. This is part of their Premium range, which IIRC is geared towards ladies in the 30s. I have read nice things about this in the past and was naturally curious.

Blurb from the ettusais Singapore website:

Restore your skin to crystal clarity with this precious youth-restoring cream that fits right into your busy schedule! Formulated with ettusais’ exclusive Amino Premium 7 Complex, this fuss-free moisturiser will reverse decades of damage & help you to achieve infant-like skin! Use it as a lotion, emulsion, beauty essence, massage gel, mask, cream and makeup-base! Fresh enough for day use & intensely hydrating enough for night use, this gel-cream formula is definitely your one-step solution to exquisitely ageless skin!

On the back of the jar it says it’s a 7-in-1 product. Which is basically what’s mentioned in the blurb: you can use it as lotion, emulsion etc etc. You can find more information on their Japanese website, including a list of the ingredients (in Japanese) and how to do a massage.

Here’s a side-view:
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It’s called caviar cream because suspended in the light pink cream are tiny spheres that burst as you massage the cream in the skin:

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The texture is light, more like a heavier gel than a cream. It’s very easy to spread and because of the spheres it encourages a massage action, that you spend more time applying instead of just slapping some on. I appreciate that. As mentioned though sometimes a sphere or two can stray and if you miss it they can look funny on the skin/hair. It leaves my skin feeling plump and nicely moisturized afterwards.

I use this primarily as the main moisturizer even if it can serve as seven other things. My skin is prone to dryness, not so much the visible flaky kind; more the hiding a thirst kind. I was in a more humid climate (Hong Kong) when I started this and even though it was November I find this to be more than sufficient in providing enough moisture. Back in France though, and with the temperature dropping to 1C-5C in the mornings lately + heaters on during the day, I feel it would benefit from a boost, maybe a serum under or another moisturizer on top. I was using it alone for two weeks here, but have upped the amount I use every application. For two days now I used one of the many serum samples I have before this and it has worked well. But honestly it has already exceeded my expectations as I never thought a moisturizer this light in texture would cut it at all this time of the year in France.

IMHO then, for those who live in a humid climate, I think this will be good for all skin types and all year round. I don’t think it would be too heavy for summer because of air-conditioning. For those in drier climates you may need an extra layer below or on top. If you have dry skin you will probably like this as a serum-type layer in winter and seal it in with a thicker moisturizer once it’s absorbed.

All in all this is actually a versatile and very decent unscented moisturizer.

Skincare Regime Update – December 2016

The last update was April and lots of changed since then. Pretty much everything I’m using is different!

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1. Hadalabo Tamagohada AHA+BHA mild exfoliating face wash foam (160ml)
2. Medicated Sekkisei lotion (360ml) – Made in Japan
3. Hadalabo Gokujyun Medicated Skin Conditioner lotion (170ml) – Made in Japan
4. Melvita Nectar Supreme eye & lip contour cream (0.5fl oz.) [almost 15ml] – Made in France
5. ettusais Premium Amino Caviar Cream (90g) – Made in Japan

1. I left my Muji foam cleanser behind in a hotel but I just want to say that cleanser worked well with my Luna. Bought this as a replacement and I don’t feel anything special towards it. I like that it dispenses ready-made foam so I save some time. I’m only *just* reading now that people have been reporting the cleanser drying their skin … perhaps that’s why my eye area have been itchy the past few days?? I’ve been using it for about two weeks now though only once a day until recently. Tamogohada = more or less the image of your skin will look like as smooth as a peeled hard boiled egg if you use this. I guess.
2. Still loving this and I will continue using this (although I’m tempted to try Albion’s Skin Conditioner). I still have one bottle of P50 left, which I’ll reintroduce when the weather gets warmer.
3. This is my extra hydration step and I’ll probably use a serum when this bottle is done, or one of the many packets and bottles of samples from different brands that I have. This particular formula (green bottle) of the Hadalabo Gokujyun range is supposed to moisturize and prevent pimples from appearing. Hormonal spots are something else so this item doesn’t really help me much there. I’m not sure if it’s sold in Hong Kong? I haven’t seen it anywhere I went (the usual suspects Watson’s/Manning/log-on don’t have it).
4. The formula is nothing special but this is my first experience with these kind of tips. On the days when I have time to slowly tap tap tap gently with the tip I do find a difference to just applying with fingers.
5.I took this with me to Hong Kong, knowing the weather is less dry than Paris. I was almost finished with my It’s Skin Snail Cream anyway and thought it’s a good time to open the next moisturizer in the stash. There are many little beads in the moisturizer (hence ‘caviar’) and you just have to make sure you rub all of them in. Sometimes there are strays and if you miss one they can appear as bizarre looking but perfectly round tiny ball of flesh. I’ve continued using this since I got back and interestingly it still does a decent job of moisturizing my skin in this completely different climate. I honestly didn’t expect it to perform this well. I’ll do a review on this separately.

I no longer have a really different morning/evening routine. Only that I throw in a makeup remover before the regular cleanser at night. That’s usually either of these: (more…)

Addiction by Ayako Haul

*ahem* I’ve been away on holidays, hence the silence again but more importantly it’s also how I got my paws on some Addiction shadows!! To compensate this will be a really long post so get ready!

I am so excited about these cos I’ve been wanting to try them since forever and the brand finally opened a counter in Hong Kong where I happened to be 🙂 Too bad I missed out on the opening GWPs, I heard there were some nice things.

Addiction by Ayako is a beauty brand in the Kosé family. Ayako was NARS’ creative director before starting Addiction. I found an interview with Ayako here on Haru’s website, my source for all Japanese beauty news 😉 Addiction has changed the packaging of their eye shadows when they (re)launched their eye shadows – all 99 shades at once. Some shades were retired, but I’m not sure if there’s a difference in the formula. Perhaps someone can comment?

Before I get into the shadows I purchased, I want to mention the LE Christmas Winter White set:

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pic from official website

This set was going for HKD550 (or thereabouts, IIRC) which I feel is a good price. Inside the compact you get 4 shadows and a blush:

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pic from official website

I was there the first day on the launch but after some thoughts, I passed. My reasons? I don’t use nail polish, and am not a fan of lip glosses, even if this one is black and thus more interesting. So there goes two products. The compact is nice but the blush shade is really more of a highlighter as the colour wouldn’t show unless you’re really fair and pale. And I don’t need another highlighter. Once I eliminated the blush shade there’s little reason left for me to get the palette even if the four shades of shadows are beautiful and practical and work really well together. This set is really a good deal and if you’re someone who uses all the products I highly recommend it. I should have asked the ladies if you can pop the highlight out and replace it with a blush instead (especially if you already own a blush from them). That would make this more versatile. Actually the gloss and polish would make kick ass as stocking stuffers even if you don’t use them. Oh well!

I picked up a total of seven eye shadow shades, purchased separately on different occasions. They are HKD 140 each, with 1g of product. You can buy an empty compact separately that could hold 4 shadows or a bigger one to hold 6 shadows. Note that the size of 1 blush = 2 shadows so you can customize whichever way you want. I almost got a compact but didn’t in the end because for me out of sight is out of mind.

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  1. 085 Shanghai Breakfast (P) A mauve with a gold and red gloss
  2. 082 Taxi Driver (P) A smooth grayish mauve
  3. 069 Flash Back (P) A grayish brown with a smooth gloss
  4. 040 Dolly Bird (P) A steel gray with a wet luster and sparkle
  5. 039 Yesterday (P) A light lavender gray radiating pink
  6. 043 Dangerous Liason (P) A deep purple shimmering with red and silver
  7. 109 Red Lily – Gold orange tinged with red, like the lilies of Northern Europe (limited edition)

It’s a bit of a pain to get the English names. They are not printed on the display panels in Hong Kong, nor on the boxes/sticker on the back of the cases. I had to cross reference them on the Japanese website. Having English names would make it so much easier to remember what I’ve got and what I’d like to try.

Swatches: (more…)

August + September Empties

AUGUST

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Shiseido Integrate gel liner in BK999 (0.28g) – Made in Germany
I bought this cos it seemed to be a favourite among Japanese beauty magazine readers. But the size of the nib is too big for my liking and unlike a pencil it can’t be sharpened. Also the performance is inconsistent – sometimes it smudges, sometimes no. Despite no change in the steps leading to or out prior.
Repurchase? Nope.

Kate slim gel pencil in BK-1 (0.12g) – Made in Japan
Now this is a liner I know I can count on. I took this with me on my holidays and with daily use it lasted around one month. This has less than half the product of the Integrate liner though.
Repurchase? Staple.

Here’s a comparison photo with nibs from different liners. The UD acts as your average, typical pencil liner. You can see the Integrate is just slightly slimmer than that. Visée is the thinnest (mentioned a few entries below). KATE and dejavu are the same in diameter. I’ll write about the Dejavu one eventually but lets just say for now that I don’t reach for it often despite it having the best staying power.

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Top-Bottom: Visée, dejavu fiberwig, KATE, Shiseido Integrate, UD24/7

(more…)

BCL Browlash EX Long Separate Mascara – Hello Kitty Limited Edition

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I admit I bought this because of Hello Kitty. I’m not someone who seeks out HK merchandise but I guess I thought the HK makes a nice change from regular boring mascara packaging. Plus it seemed to be a best-seller in Japan.

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I’m not sure why it’s got the word ‘browlash’ in it but make no mistake this is a regular eyelash mascara.

This appeared to have everything I like in a mascara:
– comb, a special design with rows of 4, 3, 4, 3 etc going down.
– waterproof, sweat proof
– easy to remove with warm water (film type)
– separates the lashes
– length

Here’s a close up of the comb:

Ok I usually go for volume but that’s ok. I find the length and separation to be true, lashes are long and defined. It never clumped and I didn’t have problem with it smudging once it’s dry either. My lashes do look a bit sparse at times … the extra length somehow highlights what’s lacking. I suppose I’d prefer the teeth to be longer in the middle – sometimes I feel like I’m brushing the lashes with nothing. But apparently this sloped design helps fix the curl at the roots. I didn’t get a super strong curl though.

What fails this mascara for me is that the formula is super wet and it takes a long while to dry. It’s probably the wettest mascara I’ve ever used. I inevitably smudge the under eye area every time I used this simply from blinking normally. It became super annoying and I dreaded using this everyday. I grabbed this mascara with me on holidays untested, since the Fasio one irritated my eyes I thought any mascara would be an improvement. I tried it again upon my return but just gave up a few days ago out of frustration. I really don’t have time dealing with smudges in the morning rush.

I won’t throw it out just yet, I’m willing to give it another chance on my weekends or something. Maybe I’ll let it dry out a bit on its own and see what happens. If you can handle the formula, this is actually a great lengthening mascara.

Made in Japan, 7g.

July Empties

Please bear with me – I’m playing catch-up with my empties post. Since there aren’t many from August those empties will be in the September post 🙂

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Banila Co Clean It Zero Purity for Sensitive skin (100ml) – Made in Korea ?
Lasted around three months, this is a cleansing balm for makeup removal. Like the Body Shop’s Camomile cleansing balm in idea, but with a better texture that instantly melts when you start rubbing so there’s no tugging or harsh rubbing involved. Very efficient at makeup removal, took everything off with no problem. My skin was never irritated nor felt dry afterwards either. A pleasure to use.
Repurchase? Yes, I have the regular version in maxi format to go.

IOPE Ultimate Hydro Cream (50ml) – Made in Korea
Cool upon application so it’s refreshing especially with a light, gel texture. Mildly scented with an aquatic type fragrance. Most importantly it does its job at moisturizing and my skin never felt dry. I really enjoyed this even if it’s not a one-of-a-kind product. IOPE isn’t readily available where I am so off the top of my head I would take a look at Laneige’s (obviously) water bank range, Biotherm, and even drugstore brands like No.7, L’oreal. I feel like I’ve seen similar products from these brands in the past before.
Repurchase? Yes if I come across it again.

Shiseido Medicated hand cream (100g) – Made in Japan
Bought this at the same time as the Kiss Me medicated (reviewed here), which now that I think about it is probably their attempt to make something like the Yu-Be cream. I found the Shiseido more effective. Texture-wise it’s not heavy but provides decent moisturizing. It’s got some kind of moisturizing beads in it. This is a medium strength hand cream I feel, and is not half bad at all. Good for those needing more oommph than a lotion but not anything heavy like the Yu-be. Yu-be is where I like my hand creams to be. The best thing I like about this though is the packaging – it comes in a jar but has a flip-lid opening/closing system so you won’t struggle screwing the cap back on with slippery moisturized hands afterwards. I might decant other creams into this jar …
Repurchase? Nah.

Steam Cream (75ml) – Made in Japan
Used and reviewed in the past. I’m using this as a hand and body moisturizer. It’s more hydrating than the L’Occitane lotions. You really have to like lavender to use this range.
Repurchase? I’ve still got two more jars of these.

Nature Republic Snail Solution 70 Eye Cream (20ml) – Made in Korea
This little tube took me forever to use up, more than six months I’m sure. It’s just a regular eye cream, run-of-the-mill, not better or worse than the average offerings. I felt I could use more hydration TBH but most eye creams like these I’ve tried deliver similar results (ie. not much) and I’ve found in my experience that you need to go to those in jars, and pay a little bit more to get more. Best eye cream (tube or jar) I’ve used those is the one from Astalift. Too bad it seems they’ve pulled out of everywhere outside of Asia.
Repurchase? No.

Kosé Fasio Powerful Curl Mascara Long (7g) – Made in Japan
I wasn’t particularly wowed by this mascara. And I’m starting to think there’s something about Fasio’s mascaras that doesn’t agree with me because my eyes get irritated when I use this. Same thing happened with the last Fasio mascara I used. It must be the fibers or something. I think I will stick with other brands.
Repurchase? No.