Japan: Beauty Hauling
Friday, June 06, 2014
I knew going to Japan was going to be absolutely awesome, but I hadn’t suspected that I would also fall in deep love with the country. I had some rough, jet lagged first few days in Kyoto, but completely felt at ease (and home) in Tokyo. I’m planning to write up a thorough post on visiting Japan soon. We spent quite some time researching our 16 day trip - my boyfriend did the majority of the research on places to visit, spots to eat and nature to hike through - so I had some time to freeze and be frightened over the long haul flight, with some spare time in between for some researching on the Japan beauty market. Because wow.. It’s different. Very different. And obviously, I had to do some well thought-out hauling.
Let’s begin with the make-up stuff. Or ehh.. The lack of? The main make-up item I got is the Majolica Majorca Pressed Pore Cover powder, and I’ll be honest: it was mainly for the packaging that I purchased this. Great for powdering off the T-zone, and when pressed on with the applicator diminishes larger pores. I also bought some eyebrow razors chez Etude House, because they were all cute and in the shape of a flamingo. These kind of razors are my favourite tool to touch up my brows. Before going to the Tokyo zoo in Ueno Park, I also randomly bought a gorgeous Homei pink glitter polish in a small beauty shop because it looked much too pretty. In Kyoto I caved in at a super cute Yojiya store nearby Philosopher’s Path and got their famous lip balm - its formulated with yuzu oil and has been keeping my lips in good condition. I also bought a cute Minnie Mouse cuticle pusher and some pink cotton buds, but the true star of the line-up is my Shu Uemura eyelash curler which I paid just 7 euro (!!!) for at a duty free store in Narita airport. And yep, it’s as amazing as they say it is. There were so many makeup products that I felt quite overwhelmed. Everything looked amazing and awesome, the BB cream section held some true gems, there were a million different false lashes, .. But I contained myself as I knew I didn’t really need any of them. It’s a bit weird in hindsight as I did plan to buy more things than these, but I think my shopping radar was broken in Japan. I just wanted to explore and experience and did not spend much time in beauty shops.
Skin care wise I obviously caved in & purchased an insane amount of sheet masks. If there’s one thing Asian beauty companies know how to do.. It’s sheet masks. I got a whole variety of them at Etude House (and also stocked up on their amazing Collagen Eye Patches!), a few at Skinfood and a multi-package of the pink LuLuLun sheet masks. From Etude House I also got the Skin mal:gem Smoother, which is an exfoliating toner. I’m still finishing my Estée Lauder exfoliating toner, so no first thoughts about this one yet. A few other bits and bobs at Etude House include these new nifty Spoon Blending Sleeping Masks, as well as a quick dry oil for nail varnish. At the drugstore I also bought the DHC New Mild Touch Cleansing Oil, a holy grail product for many, so I couldn’t resist. It’s very gentle and has a nice aromatic scent - leaving the skin very clean but not stripped. I also absolutely had to purchase the Cure Natural Aqua Gel as it’s Japan’s #1 best selling exfoliator. I’ve been really loving using this one so far so expect a post on it soon!
I also got some nifty hair stuff such as the sulphate free Bene Premium Bluria shampoo which comes in the most beautiful purple shampoo bottle, the Shiseido Ma Chérie Decoration Keep Spray which is a very nice drug-store hairspray and this strange Uevo spray which is made with egg shell membrane. The Uevo spray is the perfect example of how difficult it can be to shop in Japan without speaking a word of Japanese.. I bought this thinking it was a hair spray, but in fact it looks to be some sort of styling aid for wavy hair. As I had forgotten my dry shampoo and I couldn’t find any in spray form, I bought some at a local LUSH store. And when I came by an Aveda boutique and found out it was quite cheap, I bought their Brilliant Damage Control Spray which is a great heat protectant that can also be used on dry hair. Finally, I also bought some peelable cotton at Muji and an awesome rose scented hand cream from the Rosarium line by Shiseido. You’d think that Shiseido is quite the up-market brand, but in fact they have quite an extensive drugstore line in Japan featuring often very qualitative products.
Last but not least I also added a picture of the sample craziness that went on in Japan.. Customer service is just amazing there and they spoil you big time when you make either a small or big purchase. Western hospitality and service isn’t nearly as good as it is there, so while I don’t find Japan expensive it can turn out that way as you feel ultra comfortable shopping. My haul has been very reasonable & well thought-out, which is actually quite awesome as I used to go a little over board when shopping in other countries. And when it’s time to restock.. Japan’s only a long haul flight away ;)