Monday, 23 November 2015

Beauty souvenirs from Japan

Last month, I finally went back to Japan after quite some time, and of course bought a lot of beauty products. (Thank you, Qatar Airways, for your generous 30 kg allowance! I can even forgive the slightly rude and overly perfumed flight attendants for that.)

Compared to the last time I lived in Japan and blogged here, my focus is more on skincare, haircare and lip products than colourful eyeshadows and nail stuff. An old favourite of mine makes a reappearance as well, though.

Here's everything I bought (except for a peach-scented lipbalm that doesn't do much for my lips - I forgot to take it out of my bag):

From left to right, back to front (I have bigger pictures if anyone wants to see them):
  • Softymo Speedy Cleansing Oil refill: I have used up several bottles of this, and now finally bought a refill instead of a new bottle (they don't sell refills at Sasa)
  • Mutenka Cleansing Milk because I like skincare without unnecessary additives, especially if all you do is wash them off. As long as the cleanser is gentle, that's enough for me.
  • Ichikami Smoothing Shampoo: I used to love this years ago, but then strayed from it. Now it's gone sulfate-free and since I jumped on that bandwagon (I'm not really doing the curly girl method, but my wavy hair breaks pretty easily and frizzes), I had to have it. (There's actually quite a lot of innovation going on in Japan regarding hair products, and most of them smell wonderful, too.)
  • Ichikami Smoothing Conditioner: see above
  • Bene Bluria Delicious SPA Shampoo because I like to rotate my shampoos. (I wash every other day, so this gets used every fourth day.) I was lucky to find the limited Frozen edition in a MatsuKiyo in Ikebukuro and snatched it up right away. I was never a big Disney fan, but someone at work turned me onto Frozen and now I love it. I didn't just buy the Bluria stuff for the design, though. My scalp has been somewhat itchy lately, so the scalp care promise sounded good. I have no idea why the keep talking about blue vegetables, though. 
  • Bluria Delicious SPA Hair Mask
  • Bluria Delicious SPA Treatment
  • Bluria Delicious SPA Night Care Milk: all pretty good products, as far as I can tell from using them for a few weeks. They make my hair pretty fluffy, but they're not rich enough to use exclusively in winter, so I switch them up with Ichikami.
  • Chifure Whitening Skin Lotion VC: Not the first time I'm buying this. I wanted a gentle vitamin C product to use as my lotion in the morning, and this has some pretty good ingredients. I'm not sure how much anti-aging is happening here, but at least it hydrates my skin and doesn't irritate it. Plus it's really affordable.
  • Naris Up Fukitori Keshousui (Wipe-off lotion): If you look closely, you can see that I accidentally bought a tester... No idea why the lady at the check-out counter didn't notice, but maybe she did and just didn't want to talk to gaijin me. Although I did speak Japanese to her...
  • Minon Amino Moist Charge Lotion II: I wanted a lotion for my evening regiment,and settled on this because ceramides sounded good. It's more expensive than the Chifure, but still affordable compared to what stuff costs here in Switzerland. Plus, lotions like this are hardly found outside of Asia.
  • Curel Moisture Cream: I bought two tubes of this instead of the big tub so I can carry one in my bag. I don't use this as a face cream, but around my eyes and sometimes dry patches on my neck or hands. It's pretty nice and also has ceramides.
  • Kosé Infinity Lipstick in RO633: I was looking for a lipstick to match the dress I wore for my friend's wedding (the reason I went to Japan this time), and ended up with two sales assistants at the Shinjuku Ainz & Tulpe plus my best friend playing with colours on me. A lot of lipsticks look different in the tube and on the mouth, and my lips have some colour to begin with, so it took quite a while for us to find the right shade. I really like this colour for the fall, and the formula is long-lasting without being drying. This is the most expensive lipstick I have ever bought, but as I said above, I've changed my focus from colourful eyeshadows (not work-appropriate...) to lip make-up, which I think suits me better because I can pull off quite deep shades even at work without getting strange comments.
  • Canmake Stay On Balm Rouge in 09: My second of these, and I love the red colour. Its staying power is mediocre, and it's not as moisturizing as the name makes it sound, but I still really like it and will probably repurchase when I run out. For this price, it's quite a steal.
  • Mote Mascara (that name *lol*) Long: I had another version of this two years ago and loved this, so I bought the new version and have to say I'm disappointed, especially for the price. Maybe it still needs some time, though, some mascaras get better when they're slightly drier. 
  • Visée Nudey Rich Eyes in BE-7: Okay, so I wanted to buy at least one eye shadow product. It was a lot more difficult to find a really nice neutral palette, especially one where I wouldn't run out of the lighter shades ages before I even made a dent in the darker ones. In the end, I settled on this, and it's nice, but not quite perfect. As you will see in the swatch, the light shades look pretty similar, and the accent shades are a lot darker, so there's too much contrast for it to be a no-brainer busy morning product.
  • Ettusais Mineral White BB Cream: This was the only base I could find that was light enough for my face, not too pink or yellow (stupid neutral-olive undertone!) and had no "bad" ingredients like alcohol. The coverage is not great, since it's just a BB cream, but it doesn't make my face itch or break out. 
  • Chifure Liquid Foundation: I needed a foundation on my first day in Tokyo, so I bought this in a hurry because it was cheap, but it's too dark and the undertone is not right. Not a bad foundation per se, though, with medium coverage and a satiny finish.
  • Turtle ear cleaner bought in Gifu
Here are swatches of the colour products:

no flash
 From top to bottom:
  • Visée Nudey Rich Eyes (counter-clockwise starting at top)
  • Canmake Stay on Balm Rouge
  • Kosé Infinity Lipstick
  • Chifure Liquid Foundation
  • Ettusais Mineral White BB Cream

I hope this post was helpful for someone. There are some other products I wish I had bought (especially since I could finally buy tax-free because for the first time in my life, I wasn't in Japan as a student), like that famed Opera glossy lipstick and one Kiss lipstick in a gorgeous reddish shade that had sold out. I was also saddened to find my beloved Majolica Majorca Lash Gorgeous Wing Neo no longer on the shelves.Well, I'm probably going back next year and also have friends visiting who can bring me stuff, so all is well for now. :D

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