I seem to be collecting a lot of cute items as of late. Lip gloss is the latest product offered in Creer Beaute's The Rose of Versailles cosmetics line. There are four different glosses, each named after a female character from the Rose of Versailles manga. The glosses include Jeanne de Valois, Rosalie Lamorlière, Antoinette and the main character of the series, Oscar. Last week, I purchased Antoinette.
What I first noticed about the Antoinette gloss was how different it looked compared to the picture on the Rose of Versailles website. The actual gloss is sparkly and translucent but it looks like a very pigmented lip product Versailles' page. The Rose of Versailles gloss is a bit like Lancôme's Juicy Tubes except it is much smoother and completely sticky-free. It is also very sheer, even for a gloss, and instead of adding color to the lips, it just makes your lips look plump and shiny with a little sparkle. You could wear it over a lip color but I think Bihada Ichizoku's Gorgeous Tsuya Gloss is a much better product for something like that. I actually wanted to try out the Jeanne de Valois gloss but my local drugstore only carried Antoinette and Oscar which is how I ended up with Antoinette. I don't think I will be purchasing another Rose of Versailles lip gloss again and will be sticking with my more pigmented, longer-lasting Lancôme Juicy Tubes. 1029 yen including tax.
Barbie Loves Stila's Japanese collection offers a face shimmer powder that comes in Pink Doll and Pisque Doll. Pink doll is very pale pink and pearl white highlighting powder for a "cool look" while the peach and ivory-colored Pisque is recommended for a more elegant look.
I purchased the Barbie Face Shimmer Powder in Pink Doll. It is an extremely fine, delicate powder that almost melts into the skin. The Barbie highlighter is sheer but has a pearly shimmer that brightens the skin. The white pearly powder, when used over my rosacea, turns my red cheeks into a soft pink hue with a slight glow. I actually prefer this highlighter to the FANCL Lucent Face Powder because it blends into the skin so well. Highlighters can often be chalky or overly sparkly and irritate the skin but Barbie Love Stila's highlighter is just perfect. I am not sure if the powder would work well with dark skin tones but Pink Doll does a wonderful job of giving pale skin an air-brushed and more polished appearance. Even though the Barbie Face Shimmer Powder is a bit expensive for a single Stila product, I am very happy with my purchase. 4,410 yen including tax.
Their carton designs are just so cute that I had to share. This is Lipton's 1000ml Lemon Tea and Peach Tea. The 10th of this month was the British tea company's 159th anniversary of its founding. Lipton Japan always has some cute campaign going on.
Last week, the NARS summer makeup collection was finally released in Japan. Included in the collection was the Single Eyeshadow in 2066 "Tropic." Tropic is described as a teal shade on the NARS website but it is more of a slightly shimmery, turquoise blue shadow containing large silver particles. The powder is very fine and highly pigmented but the sparkly silver particles are difficult to get on the brush and do not stay on the eyelid. However, I feel that the silver flakes are too big and distracting anyway and Tropic looks lovely and mysterious enough without them. Tropic is great for an evening look and a very modern color. The eyeshadow costs 2625 yen including tax in Japan and does not come with a brush or sponge tip tool.
Remember the kitty Odeko (forehead) Cooler headband I got from Ainz/Tulpe in January? Well, SHF Industries, the company behind the headband, has released super cute kitty feet coolers for the summer. Like the odeko cooler, the "foot cooler" contains a gel pack in each of its pouches to cool and soothe your feet. The kitty foot cooler comes in white, black, and blue and SHF also carries sheep coolers and feet coolers designed as cute bows. The coolers are great for when the weather is hot and after a long day on your feet. They cost about 1500 yen and are only available for a limited time.
先月に、ミニブルジョワのTechno Bar in Tokyoのネールカラーについて書きました。最近やっとエナメルを使ってみました。写真を見れば分かりますが、あまりネイルカラーを塗るのは上手でなく、ネイルもあんまり伸ばしたりしません。Techno Bar（テクノバー）は深い輝きのある紫ですが、使ってみるととても薄いです。左の写真のような色合いを出すには２回以上エナメルを塗らないといけませんでしたし、多分もう１回ぐらい塗る必要があると思います。ネイルカラーのブラシも短過ぎたので、エナメルを上手くのせるためにボトルを逆さまにしました。Techno Barも乾かすのに時間がかかりました。でもミニブルジョワのネイルカラーはたったの４２０円なので、そんなにパフォーマンスが良いものではなくても、可愛らしいのであんまりガッカリはしません。他のミニブルジョワネイルカラーに少し興味がありますが、またミニのエナメルを買うかどうかは分かりません。
Last month, I posted about purchasing the Mini Bourjois Techno Bar in Tokyo nail polish. Well, I finally got around to testing the nail color out. As you can see, I am not very skillful at applying polish and I tend to keep my nails short. Techno Bar is a deep sparkly purple polish that I found to be very sheer. It took more than two coats to get the result you see in the picture and my nails could have used at least another coat of polish. The nail brush was also too short and I had to turn the bottle over to get a decent amount of polish on it. Techno Bar took a very long time to dry, as well. The Mini Bourjois nail color only cost 420 yen so I am not that disappointed despite the poor performance of the product. And it is a very cute product. I am kind of curious about the other Mini Bourjois polishes but I am not sure I will be purchasing their mini nail products again.
Last week, I purchased a skincare set from Missha, a very popular Korean cosmetics brand. The set included:
美思Eihyon Skincare Toner 美思Eihyon Milky Emulsion Refreshing Pack in Kiwi Refreshing Pack Peel-Off Type in Kiwi Moist24 Hand Cream in Manuka Honey Sheet Mask in Tea Tree
and 2 B.B cream samples. I've only tried out the Kiwi Refreshing Pack so far and unfortunately, little red spots broke out around my nose after using the mask. It did keep my skin hydrated so this might make a better winter (as opposed to summer) skincare item. I hope to review one of the B.B creams this week.
Body wash sold in Japan, including foreign brands tailored to the Japanese market, are made for more oily-prone (not dry) skin. For example, Dove's body wash in the US is thick and creamy while the same wash sold in Japan is very thin and not nearly as moisturizing. Though I've been using Johnson and Johnson's Extra Care Dry Skin Body Wash, which is more moisturizing than most other body washes in Japan, my skin still feels dry after getting out of the shower. Last week, I stepped into LUSH and in addition to purchasing a couple of other products, I got their shower jelly in Coconatsu Holiday (AKA: Big Calm Shower Jelly). Coconatsu Holiday contains coconut and pineapple extract and has a very tropical scent that smells like the cocktail China Blue. You need no more than a teaspoon of the jelly to get a nice foamy lather and the jelly not only cleans well but feels incredibly gentle. Once I dried off, my skin was amazingly smooth and hydrated and did not even need moisturizing. The eczema on my right hand had significantly improved and I smelled quite good, too. I think LUSH's shower jelly has yielded the best results out of all of the body washes that I have ever used and I am seriously considering switching to their jellies in the future. Their shower jellies are also vegan and great for all skin types. The only downside to the wash is that it is a jelly which not as easy to use as something in a pump or bottle and it's a bit pricey. 980 yen including tax.
Base Brillante is the newest makeup base offered by Sonia Rykiel. It is a thin, light, white makeup primer that smooths over and reduces the appearance of imperfections, allowing for a better foundation application. I had absolutely no pilling or drying problem with Brillante and it instantly blended into my skin. The L'Atout Eclat Sublime base was another story. L'Atout Eclat is a flesh-colored primer that contains fine pink pearls for a nice sparkle. The primer was too dark for my skin tone, making it look even more red and dry, and simply sat on my face instead of sinking into my skin. While the foundation was very even and smooth when I applied it over Base Brillante, it was very uneven and somewhat drying when used over the L'Atout Eclat base.
The Eclateint Foundation itself was quite wonderful. The sample I received was 30 which is probably closer to something between an OC10 and OC20 for other makeup brands though it's coverage may just make it appear lighter than it really is. It is yellow-based but not quite as yellow as most other Japanese foundations. When it touched my skin, the foundation was incredibly cool and soothing which is what I liked most about it. Other foundations can feel suffocating but Eclateint is light and actually feels nice on the face. The coverage is light to medium and the high water content causes it to blend well and look natural. Those who want heavier coverage might find Eclateint to be too sheer but even with my rosacea face, I prefer it's light coverage. Lunasol's Skin Fusing Powder Foundation and Shiseido's Hydro-power Perfect Smoothing Foundations are somewhat similar to Sonia Rykiel's foundation but Eclateint is the smoothest and softest of them all. I am very pleased with both Eclateint and Base Brillante and I would most definitely consider purchasing the foundation if they had it in my skin color.
I do not dye nor perm my hair and rarely use styling products so I would say that my hair is on the healthy side. It's neither particularly oily nor dry but shampoos and conditioners can cause my hair and scalp to become oily dry. My hair is thinner than regular Japanese hair but thicker than blond hair. Texture-wise, it is smooth, shiny, and slightly wavy but it flattens right away and the lack of volume is especially apparent now that it's humid. Over the past few weeks, the hair near my scalp (but not the scalp itself) had become sticky and very flat, as though some hair product had not be properly washed out. What was even more bizarre was that the more thorough I was washing out the shampoo and conditioner, the worse it got. Maybe it was a silicone build-up. I don't know. But I decided to try out the Nature Smooth shampoo and conditioner first, hoping that it would clear up that sticky residue in my hair.
Nature Smooth contains a seaweed-brown algae extract mix and has a white flower scent. I was a little disappointed because what I used to love most about Asience was their signature scent but the white flower fragrance is a pleasant and refreshing change from the usual shampoo/conditioner smell. Nature Smooth did a very good job of cleaning up the sticky build-up and my hair felt much lighter and had more bounce when it dried. Unfortunately, it also left my hair a little dry but that is probably because the shampoo is designed for oily hair and my hair is not usually oily. But I was so pleased being sticky-free that I am considering using Nature Smooth either regularly or occasionally so I won't have to worry about having overly flat hair again.
Inner Rich is closer to the original Asience shampoo and conditioner. It contains royal jelly extract and has a flower fruit scent. My hair felt smoother and thicker after using the Inner Rich products and I think the line would work well for those looking to fortify their overly processed and damaged hair. Unlike the original Asience shampoo and conditioner, Inner Rich did not leave my scalp or hair oily but I did notice my head itched a little as my hair dried. I am happy that Asience has changed their formulas to target specific hair conditions though not completely satisfied with Inner Rich or Nature Smooth, but my experiences with the two were pleasant enough for me to consider investing in Nature Smooth's shampoo and conditioner.
Shiseido dProgram's carries a facial sheet mask for dry, sensitive skin. Mask QQ is free of parabens, fragrance, and dyes. It hydrates, moisturizes, and smooths the skin. To keep the mask's contents as clean and fresh as possible, Mask QQ's hydro-essence is kept in a tube, separate from the sheet mask. One Mask QQ box contains four masks.
The instructions are very simple. First, open the package containing the sheet mask and pour the contents of the hydro-essence tube into the package while the cotton whip mask is still inside. Press the package, moving the essence around to ensure that it is evenly distributed on the mask. Next, take out and unfold the mask and put it on. After three minutes, remove the mask and massage any remaining essence into your skin.
The whip cotton sheet mask is quite soft but very large. The anime-like eye holes are the biggest that I have ever seen and you can fit your whole eyebrow and more through the hole. Because the eye and nose holes were especially large, there were several parts on my face that did not touch the mask which was kind of disappointing. But the mask did calm my face which was flushed after exercising. The hydro-essence also moisturized and hydrated my skin without being too sticky unlike most other facial masks. My skin was left somewhat dewy and much less red, and none of the ingredients in the mask irritated my skin. However, I do think Mask QQ should be used as a treatment for dry skin (especially in the winter) rather than as a regular skincare item. One box of four masks costs 2,000 yen without tax which is 500 yen per mask. I don't know if I would purchase this again but those who are having trouble finding a rosacea or sensitive skin-friendly mask may want to consider dProgram's Mask QQ. Now that the weather is warm, it might be a good idea to refrigerate the essence first so that the mask will be especially cool on the face, but refrigerating the hydro-essence might reduce the effectiveness of the ingredients in the mask.
Last month, three new shades (RO656, PK861, PK862) were added to Magie Deco's Lipstick collection and two new Lipstick Luxual Color shades (BE331, PK831) were released, as well. When I purchased Magie Deco's Soda Pop Shadow Brilliance and Fairy Eyes in Cerulean Spray, I received a sample of two of their latest lip colors. The sample came with the PK861 Sexy Doll Lipstick shade, the same color the model is wearing for the Splash Coolness look, and BE331 Floating Beige, which is a Lipstick Luxual Color.
PK861 is a shiny, pink-rose shade that was too sheer to really show up on my lips though it did have a very faint sparkle. Lipstick Luxural Color BE331, on the other hand, is a well-pigmented, peachy-orange, clay-red shade that is more appropriate for a natural look but did not work with my complexion. The texture of the lipsticks is quite smooth, moist (the PK861 lipstick, in particular) and very similar to Aube Couture and Maquillage's lipsticks but even though they go for the same price, Magie Deco's lipcolors do not perform as well as Shiseido The Makeup, Lunasol and Lancôme's lipsticks in terms of pigmentation and lasting power.
Released on April 15th, Bihada Ichizoku's limited edition Chocolate Sheet Mask is a collaboration between Love Labo and the renown pâtissier, Hironobu Tsuchiguchi. The mask was developed to address dryness, wrinkles, clogged pores, and other skin problems caused by "reactive oxygen." The main ingredient in the mask, cacao polyphenol, supposedly removes the negative effects of reactive oxygen. In addition to cacao extract, the mask also contains hydrolyzed collagen, hyaluronic acid, and strawberry juice.
The Chocolate Sheet Mask is probably the most delicious selling mask that you will ever try. It smells like a chocolate pastry and reminds me of those chocolate-strawberry crêpes sold in little crêpe shops and stands across Japan. Most likely due to the ingredients, it is a little bit difficult to unfold. But what I like about the chocolate mask is that, when you put it on, it is surprisingly light and less sticky than some of Bihada Ichizoku's other masks. Though when you remove the mask and allow the extract to dry, you do feel like a very very thin layer of chocolate is covering your face. The extract also dries a bit sticky. You should definitely not use this mask right before you step outside. The regular Bihada Ichizoku masks can sometimes leave my skin dry and irritated but I think the chocolate in the Chocolate Sheet Mask prevented my cheeks from getting itchy and red and left my skin smooth. Out of all of the Bihada Ichizoku masks, I would say that this is my favourite and I wish Love Labo would consider making it a regular product.
1 Sara Sheet Mask 1 Saki Sheet Mask 1 Rumiko Sheet Mask 1 Bihada Ichizoku Chocolate Sheet mask 2 Overnight sets All three volumes of the limited edition Bihada Ichizoku comics.
Both the Chocolate Sheet Mask and the manga are limited edition items and quite difficult to find. I purchased the Perfect Box from Marunouchi Loft but I've noticed that most other drugstores and variety shops do not carry this product. If you don't live near a Loft, you might have an easier time purchasing the box online.
I've wanted to read the Bihada Ichizoku manga for the longest time and was so happy to finally acquire the past two books and the latest volume in the series. The new chocolate mask is also included in the set which is great. If you are a Bihada Ichizoku fan, the Perfect Box is definitely not something to pass up. And for 2,375 yen including tax, it's a steal!
I recently purchased Lancôme's Color Fever Gloss in 142 Red Red Rose. Color Fever Gloss is a "vibrant lipshine" that plumps and moistens the lips. It emits a powdery-perfume scent characteristic of Lancôme's products but the fragrance is not overpowering. While the Juicy Tubes first apply sticky, the Color Fever Gloss is smooth right upon application. 142 Red Red Rose is a raspberry red shade that looks like an orange-red in the bottle but turns into a berry, pink-red on the lips. What impressed me most about the gloss was how it worked as a lip stain and how my lips remained the berry red shade all day, even after the gloss itself had worn off. The Color Fever Gloss is on the expensive size but contains more product than your average lip gloss. I am quite pleased with my purchase and would recommend this product to anyone looking for a half lip-gloss, half-lip stain that looks both natural and pretty. It goes quite well with Stila's Eye Shadow Duo in Seafoam.
A common technique used by makeup artists in Japan to make the eyes appear bright, to contribute to a translucent look, is to use a pearl white or silver eyeliner on the lower water line. Sonia Rykiel is well known for their eyeliners so I decided to purchase their Eyeliner Pencil WP in 07 White Platinum. The eyeliner is pearly white with a little bit of sparkle. It is somewhat sheer which allows the liner to look more natural on the skin. Pencil WP is also quite soft and requires little pressure to draw under the eyes.
Since the eyeliner is supposed to be waterproof, I tested it in the shower to see how well it would hold up. Water and soap seemed to make no difference and it only came off with an oil makeup remover. I love how the eyeliner makes my eyes look alive yet soft and somewhat mysterious. Many Japanese actresses and talento wear white eyeliner under their eyes and sometimes it looks a bit excessive but Eyeliner Pencil WP 07 is just perfect. I am impressed with Sonia Rykiel and can understand why their pencil eyeliners are so popular. 2,415 yen including tax.
I finally had the opportunity to try out one of Creer Beaute's Rose of Versailles masks. The Oscar mask, named after the heroine of the The Rose of Versailles manga series, is the cosmetic line's most popular product. It contains rose water, pearl extract, acerola extract, hyaluronic acid, common purslane (portulaca oleracea) extract, citrus depressa/shekwasha (hirami lemon) peel extract, and citrus tachibana peel extract. Paraben-free, the mask is only slightly acidic, perhaps more gentle to the skin than most masks, and has a white rose scent.
The Oscar sheet mask is packed with essence. Smelling of roses and white tea, it is possibly my most favourite sheet mask in terms of fragrance. The size of the mask is the standard sheet mask size but the nose and mouth holes are rather large. I instantly felt a cooling sensation when I put the mask on which seemed to have calmed my red cheeks. After ten minutes, the mask is removed and remaining extract should be massaged into the skin. Although the Oscar mask essence is quite thick, once it dries, it is less sticky than most other masks. I did feel a slight tingling sensation after removing the mask, probably due to the rose water, and had some tiny, itchy red bumps across my face which disappeared within a half an hour or so. But despite the temporary allergic reaction I had to the mask ingredients, I think Creer Beaute's masks may be more suited for my skin than Bihada Ichizoku's sheet masks. It calmed my face and evened out my complexion. It was gentle, less sticky, and had a wonderful scent. I still have to try the Antoinette mask but so far, I am enjoying the Rose of Versailles skincare line.