My Twitter and Instagram has lately been full of posts about my time in Japan - I am absolutely loving being back. But with my MacBook on its last legs, I wasn't able to bring her back with me which means no iMovie, and this monthly favourites is going to be blog-based! (and no usual life update this month I'm afraid.. we'd be here til New Years!)
Also, I haven't brought too many things back with me, and for that reason I was quite limited as to what I could pick for my favourites this month (and definitely didn't bother bringing back any fails)! So I decided to throw in some things that I've bought since being back, otherwise it would have been a very short and boring favourites.. and also because I actually believe I'm on to quite a few winners!
The UK Favourites
Lancôme Hypnose Doll Eyes Waterproof Mascara
My one and only duty-free purchase - I bloody well deserved it after sticking it out for a few weeks to save a few quid! This mascara is my absolute favourite - it holds curls like a crazy person, and adds volume without clumping. In fact, it fans out your lashes. A full review here!
YSL 5 Color Ready To Wear Palette in 02 Fauve
I can't praise this palette enough - the colours are just perfect for a mid-toned brown lover. The satin finish, the shades and the super blendable formula means you get a perfect, soft, gradient look no matter what combination of shades you choose. I've got a full review of this here.
YSL Fusion Ink Foundation in BD55
My first impressions that I posted here haven't changed - it's an AMAZING foundation. With a lightweight, natural matte finish with a medium to full coverage that can be built up without looking cakey, it's pretty close to perfect! Oh, AND it lasts ages. My only niggle is its packaging.. even in the full price - a spatula?! WHY?! Am I the only person who's bothered by this? I'm hoping to compare it to Dior Star Foundation before deciding which one to treat myself to!
LUSH Aromaco Deodorant
This is, without question, the BEST deodorant I have ever used. I can only imagine that the maker just said, "Screw it, just throw in a sh*t ton of spices!" - it smells divine! I dampen it before I apply it, and it lasts 24 hours - yes, I actually have to wash it off the next morning in the shower before I apply it again! It also strangely acts as an antiperspirant too. My Weleda Citrus Deodorant was failing me a bit since the summer hit but this? This is one tough deo.
The Japan Favourites
This was a bit of a rushed purchase after I noticed that my Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua was sliiiiding off my face in the heat and humidity here (and also I've been eyeing this foundation up for years anyway). In Japan, it's quite common that you have to buy the case and the refill for products separately (even for eyeliners!), so I was lucky that they were releasing this limited edition case for free if you bought the refill! Unlike in the UK, powder foundations are quite popular in Japan. And you can totally tell why if you use this foundation - it blurs pores, it has a medium to full coverage, it's buildable and it settles into a beautiful natural matte finish which lasts all day. I couldn't actually believe that I wasn't a chip pan at 5pm!
KOSE ESPRIQUE Foundation Brush (Limited Edition Ribbon Design)
After falling so hard for the foundation, I decided to try it with their brush as well. I chose this ribbon design out of the two limited edition designs they currently have out (the other is black with hearts). It's a lot like my well-loved Sigma F84 except the barrel isn't pinched. This brush allows me to buff in the foundation a little bit more, and use lighter layers to build up a more natural coverage. It's so so soft.. I'm so in love.
Rimmel Exaggerate Creamy Eyeliner Waterproof in 02 Brown
After researching about beauty trends in Japan (more on that later), I noticed a distinct lack of bold black liner. And, I've seen many people in the UK rave about brown liners that define but isn't too stark. However, I've never been able to find a shade that I thought wasn't too warm or too sparkly. This pencil has a bit of pink tones in it, that makes any line it draws more like a shadow than a line. Using this really defines my eyes, but it looks like I'm not wearing eyeliner at all! I think it'd be perfect for work. It's also super creamy and very long lasting. I'm not sure if they have the waterproof version in the UK, but I'm tempted to pick up the black one too!
FASIO Perfect Eyebrow in BR300
I was SO intrigued when I read about liquid brow pens.. doesn't it sound so scary?! In fact, they're relatively translucent inks that add more of a shadow than a line (again). I run this along the outsides of my brows to straighten the lines, and magically, when you step back it's like your brows are perfect anyway. The other end actually contains a powder on a sponge applicator which I like to run with and against my hairs, so I can lighten my black hairs a little. It creates such a lovely, natural but defined brow!
The FASIO Perfect Eyebrow's liquid brow pen
Left to Right: FASIO Perfect Eyebrow powder, FASIO Perfect Eyebrow liquid, Rimmel Exaggerate Creamy Eyeliner Waterproof.
I put this under the generic title above, because I've just been on a bit of a research mission since I got here about the trends in make-up and skincare in Japan. The magazines you see above are VoCe and MAQUIA, two of the beauty magazines for younger women here in Japan. They are crammed full of tutorials, launches and looks that it truly puts many British magazines to shame. I can't wait to pick up a few more!
At this point I was noticing a trend in teaching how to "do" skincare - and it made me wonder if HOW you apply your face wash or serum makes a difference. Application is so key in make-up, is it the same in skincare? So instead of buying more magazines, I bought this book - Correct Skincare Encyclopedia by Nobuko Yoshiki (a dermatologist), Miyoji Okabe (a former product developer) and Makiko Oda (a nutritionist), about correct skincare to get more in depth knowledge, and it's just fantastic. It's been running me through the anatomy of the skin, correct ways to use skincare products (who knew the temperature of the water and the time you spend on each stage could be so specific?!), and foods and recipes that are good to target specific concerns. I do feel like there's a culture of people reading books when they are curious about something in Japan, instead of Google-ing for a short brief - I think it's great.
Of course by the end of all this, I'm wanting to try out some of my newly acquired theoretical knowledge, so I picked up two popular products - the Shiseido Perfect Whip Foam Face Wash and the incredibly famous Hada Labo Lotion (or toner, as we'd call it). The former was because face wash here is all about the foam, and cleansing with the foam - I find this one slightly drying when I wash it off, BUT I notice that my skin is much, much brighter after each wash. We'll see how it goes! The Hada Labo though.. phwooar. It's slightly viscous, and the key is to work it into the skin rather than just wipe your skin with it. I feel like it's made a huge difference to how plump my skin feels! Again, we'll see how it goes.
Either way - my little project has definitely been one of my favourite things to do this month.
A pretty amazing month :)
Hope you all had a fantastic August, and are off to a great start to September!