Korea is well known in the Asian beauty world for their facial masks. I am a pretty big fan of The Face Shop masks but I recently received two Dermal Korea masks. Apparently, Dermal masks are also sold in the USA, Japan, and Vietnam but their homepage (www.dermalkorea.org) is inaccessible from Japan (at the moment, anyway).
The mask I'm reviewing for today is the Green Tea Essence Mask. It is supposed to make "your tired skin elastic, moistened, white, clear, and relax[ed]." I'm a bit skeptical about the claims but studies have shown that green tea can help reduce sun damage and inflammation, so I am willing to believe that there are some benefits to using the mask. Dermal suggests using masks 3 to 4 times a week which seems like a lot to me.
The mask should be kept in the refrigerator and if you would like to use it as a warm mask instead, soak the package (without removing the mask) in 50-60C water for two to three minutes. Be sure to wash your face and "soothe your face with toning water" before applying the mask. I assume "toning water" means "toner" but it could also refer to thermal water. This is a big problem with Dermal's masks. The English instructions/translations are awful. Strange English (in this case, "Konglish") is rather common when it comes to Asian products but usually they are more amusing than confusing. They also don't contain that many spelling mistakes. Cosmetics companies generally do a good job when it comes to their translators and I don't remember Dermal's rival, The Face Shop, having such problems.
In the instructions, Dermal says to "Blease tap two or three times before opening the pouch." While I figure "blease" was meant to be "please," I am not sure what they mean exactly by tapping. Later on, the instructions say "If essence is left on your face after taking off the mask, tap your face for completely being absorbed into your skin." I assumed tap was supposed to be "pat." Pat your face. But the English instructions are so full of mistakes, many of which ("nuterients" [nutrients] "awollen" [swollen] "sings" [things]) could have been easily corrected by using a spellchecker, that I have to wonder how much effort Dermal is putting into attracting foreign customers. Asian companies need to remember that the translations are for their foreign audience and not for themselves. Perhaps, you somehow understand this strange English but us native speaker do not and having a native speaker (or someone almost as proficient as one) check your instructions would easily eliminate any problems. Don't assume your employee, who maybe spent a term or two studying English at an Australian University, is capable enough to translate. And remember, translators usually translate into their native tongue. Not from.
その英語説明では、"Blease tap two or three times before opening the pouch"と書いてあります。"Blease" は多分"please"だと思いますが、その"tapping (tap)"がよく分かりません。その後は"If essence is left on your face after taking off the mask, tap your face for completly being absorbed into your skin"と書いてありますので、この場合では"tap"は多分"pat"です。顔をpatする。でも英語の説明では色々な問題があり、スペルチェック使えば簡単に直せるところも多くて("nuterients" [nutrients] "awollen" [swollen] "sings" [things])、どこまで外国のお客のことを考えているか、疑問です。多くのアジアの会社（日本も含めて）は翻訳は自分のためじゃなくて外国の客のためであるということを考えないとだめです。あなたはもしかしてこの変な英語が解るかもしれないですが、でもネイティブスピーカーの私たちでも理解できませんし、ネイティブやネイティブに近い翻訳者にその英語をチェックしてもらったら簡単にこういう問題は解決出来ます。あなたの会社員が大学の頃、数ヶ月オーストラリアの大学で英語を勉強したら翻訳出来ると思うのは大間違いです。それから、翻訳者は大体自分の母国語に翻訳します。自分の母国語からじゃなくて。
I applied the cool mask to my face after exercising. The first thing I noticed when I opened the Dermal mask was that it was much smaller compared to others I've used and fit on my face quite well. As much as I love The Face Shop, their masks are huge and while they are clearly trying to accommodate all face shapes and sizes, no one has a face that big. (Well, as far as I know! ) Even Japanese masks are too large for me but Dermal didn't require as much folding and adjusting. The mask was also full of moisture and incredibly soothing. My face was quite smooth after I removed the mask and let the essence dry, and I noticed a reduction in the redness on my cheeks (although they returned to their usual red an hour or two later). I think Dermal might be my most favourite mask company yet. I just hope they fix their English instructions.
If you never got a chance to pick up MadameFigaro Japon's September issue (No. 370), you can still take a peek at their 2008 A/W make up bookon their website. I particularly like Peter Philips&Chanel's looks (the blue eyeshadow is stunning), Dolce and Gabbana's, as well as Anna Sui's nail art. The make up trends right now are purple eyeshadow, gothic nails, scarlet lips, and pink blush. Hopefully, the spring make up trends will be out soon. Figaro Japon already has video footage of the 2009 Paris Prête-à-porter Spring-Summer collections on their website. As for skincare/bath-care beauty, champagne baths are all the rage in Japan.
The latest issue of Figaro Japon (No. 375) includes photos of the daily lives of designers Anna Sui (her home is absolutely beautiful), Phillip Lim, Mathew Williamson, Clare Waight Keller, and Ivana Omazic, and articles on smart shopping, knits for the season, and plants in Kyoto.
Two samples of Shiseido's new hand cream, Ferzea Repair Veil, arrived in the mail a few days ago. Ferzea, which can also be applied to the face and body, was made specifically for those suffering from hypersensitive, dry skin, for people who often wash their hands or work with water, and for those who want to spend the least amount of time caring for their hands. Repair Veil is fragrance-free, contains no dyes, parabens, steroids, or carbamide peroxide (urea). Its effects are supposed to last for a full 24 hours, even after repeated hand-washing.
Although my left hand is perfectly fine, my right hand suffers from eczema. Since my right hand is allergic to most soaps and creams and even water can make the skin crack and bleed, I only use L'Occitane's Shea Butter Dry Skin Hand Cream (Creme Mains Peaux Seches) and a hydrocortisone 1% cream from my doctor's office on the back of my hands. Unfortunately, the L'Occitane cream is a bit greasy and takes a while to be fully absorbed into the skin and the hydrocortisone, while soothing and somewhat healing, doesn't work very well when it comes to protection and prevention.
Shiseido recommends applying the hand cream right before bedtime and again in the morning. I first applied the cream to both of my hands and my legs right before I went to sleep (and then later in the morning the next day). My right hand did not sting at all which is what usually happens when I apply a new hand cream. However, the cream was quite greasy and a little sticky. It took at least 15-20 minutes for cream to really begin to absorb into the skin and yet, it was still greasy.
In the morning, however, both of my hands were incredibly smooth. The cracks and tiny cuts on my right hand were healed. What was even more surprising was that washing my hands seemed to have no affect on the performance of the cream. My hands still remained smooth and never dry. Ferzea really did create a veil on my hands that seemed to have protected my skin. I have never encountered a cream that could do such a thing.
Even though I really don't care for the greasiness of the product, I do think I will be using Ferzea as a night hand cream. While there are creams out there that help soothe and heal dry, highly allergic skin, few work after repeated contact with soap and water. I don't think I would use it if I didn't have eczema on my right hand but I highly recommend the cream to anyone suffering from eczema or very dry skin. Unfortunately, the Repair Veil is a bit expensive but it is not your typical hand cream. (1,800 yen for 40g)
Aube is a makeup brand under Sofina that has recently been revived as "Aube Couture." With their new line, Aube aims to sell makeup easy to put on that also compliments the skin tone to create a natural and pretty look.
Aube Couture's new lipsticks, Designing Rouge, contain "harmonize (gold) pearls." That is, they contain a gold shine to "harmonize" with the average Japanese (East-Asian) skin tone, which is more yellow than pink. Hues that blend with or compliment the East-Asian skin tone have become a theme among many of the Japanese makeup brands, lately. The lipsticks are also described by Aube as "mild-shiny" and moist.
There are 16 different colors available for the Designing Rouge lipsticks and can be divided into four groups: rose (RS), red (RD), pink (PK), and beige (BE). The samples included PK101, RS301, RD501, and BE701.
The lipsticks were quite moist and smooth and glided on (by finger, as they were samples and not full sticks) well. The colors were also very natural, not overly shiny, with a hint of gold sparkle. The lipstick contain no fragrance which is also a plus for those who are allergic to or get a headache from smelly makeup. The only downside, really, was that the colors did not work well with my skin tone, which is more cool and pink-based than yellow. The colors came out a little too orange for me although I do like the rose-colored RS301. However, I think the colors would look very flattering on East-Asian skin (which is their purpose, after all) and if you're someone with a yellow skin tone looking for something more natural and smooth, I would recommend checking out those new Aube Couture's Designing Rouge colors. Aube Couture also has lipsticks in each of the four groups containing silver sparkles that might suit those with a more cool tone. (3,200yen without tax)
In addition to a line of lipstick, Aube Couture is also coming out with eyeshadow compacts, blush, mascara, eyeliner set, eyebrow set, and makeup remover. I am most intrigued by their Designing Double Mascara.
The volumizing mascara has a small, angled brush on one side and a larger brush on the other with small hooks to coat each individual lash. The mascara is supposed to hold well even under sweat and tears and can be easily removed with your regular cleanser. It comes in two colors: BK601 (black) and BR602 (brown). (3000yen without tax)
Feeling not so well, I decided to take a time out with The Face Shop's Fresh Fruit Aloe Mask Sheet. Usually, I use the Fresh Fruit Grape Mask Sheet but I had an Aloe Mask left over from the summer. I suffer from rosacea so I was a little apprehensive about the mask containing alcohol which can really flare me up. So far, I seem to be fine and the left over dew feels very moisturizing.
I plan to try the Essential Pearl mask next. And maybe the Cereal Rice Mask, as well. Both are supposed to brighten and even out skin tone.
Lip Gloss: Benefit The Gloss Kiss Me (Clear Fuchsia) グロス: ベネフィット ザグロス キスミー
Still searching for: The right foundation and highlighter. I haven't found a foundation pale enough for my skin in Japan and beyond but I will be checking out RMK's liquid foundation thanks to a recommendation. まだ探してる: 自分の肌に合うファンデーションとハイライター。肌があまりにも白いので日本や外国でもなかなか自分に合うファンデーションが見つからないが、RMKのファンデーションを進められたので試してみます。
Curious about: Lancôme's Ôscillation Mascara. My lashes are already thick and long but unfortunately, curve down. They are also incredibly stubborn and require an eyelash curler (Shiseido's Eyelash Curler) followed by an electric curler (National Matsugekurun Separate Comb). When I look for a masacara, I try to find something that will both separate and maintain a curl. Virtuouse has worked out very well. My lashes still maintain their curled form at the end of the day but I would like something that would seperate each individual lash and that's what Lancôme's new mascara, Ôscillation, is supposed to do.
Guerlain's Météorites Powder for the Face Mythic. Guerlain's meteorites have gained quite a reputation. I am interested in something that would appear invisible on the skin but emit a soft glow. I am also curious about how the pearls perform compared to pressed powders.