Color Ink -}

I'm pretty sure these Color Inks that popped up in my drug store last week are the much talked about Color Tattoos elsewhere in the world.

Maybelline has been hard at work increasing their brand in Japan and while some have been grave misses (Baby Pore Primer, I'm looking at you). Others, well, I know I've been dying to try out.

Renamed Color Ink for what I'm assuming is a cultural reason (tattoos are still a pretty big no-no in Japan), Maybelline has launched five colors in the line. I'm guessing these pretty things aren't going to become part of their permanent line, judging from the fancy displays in stores and the Japanese love-affair with limited edition products.

I've already picked up the color BR-1 but I still find myself circling around the display like a shark waiting for it's prey. I can't decided if I want to pick up a fun bright color, like the green or gold, or if I should stick to my everyday colors and snatch the beige or rose.

What do you think? Are these something your eyeing up?

Body Lotion -}

You know how some times your life just seems to explode and you just have to let go and ride it out? This past week as been one of those weeks. Work and personal stuff just seemed to erupt into a torrent of insanity that mixed and meshed together and I was just trying to keep my head above water. So, what I'm trying to say is, sorry for not posting Thursday and it wasn't because I forgot. I just had run out of buffer and my life was not allowing me to sit down and write a blog post.

Anyway, let's get to it. Bioré's Body Deli Body Cream in Rose and Herbs (しっとり/moist type).

Japan's winters may not be as drying as other places, but when one compares it to the oppressive humidity we all suffer through here in the summer, it seems to be far drier than any other winter I've experienced. And maybe it's just me, but Japanese people don't seem to have the desire to drench their skin in lotion and oils to parch the skin.

How I miss 450 ml bottles of lotion for reasonable prices (or at all)! For the first few years, when I went to Kokura every weekend, I would always swing by the Body Shop in Riverwalk to get a tub of body butter. But the price tag is a bit hefty for something you're using a generous amount of everyday. And these days I don't get to Kokura or even Fukuoka all that often. So I hunted for something that would quench my skin's thirst better than the skin milks that seem to swamp Japanese skin care shelves.

Enter Bioré's Body Deli Body Cream! There are three types, とてもしっとり/really moist, しっとり/moist, and さっぱり/refreshed. I've just started using the しっとり/moist lotion. It has avocado oil, wild rose oil, and olive oil (also glycerin? Is that a thing now?). Recently I've started really getting into avocado oil (I just used up a avocado toner sampler from Skin Food – love!) in beauty products. But this was actually just a really great coincidence.

I can't say I'm super crazy about the smell, I'm not a fan of rose scented things – especially the sweet rose scent Japan seems to be so into. However the way it leaves my skin feeling soft and hydrated more than makes up for it!

What about you? Do you get dry skin come winter? Have you tried any of Bioré's Body Deli's line?
Hope you're having a fabulous weekend!

Royal Honey Ampoule Mask -}

I have a travel confession. I am totally one of those girls who puts on a sheet mask as soon as the lights dim on trans-Pacific flights. But hopefully the lucky ones of you are already sleeping by then, and the other not so-lucky ones are engrossed in a movie, so no one will care that I've got a mask stuck to my face.

I love sheet masks and on my last trip to the States I picked up a honey sheet mask from Skin Food and loved it. So I asked my friend to grab me some more on a trip to Korea a while back. She brought back something other than what I was expecting and I'm so glad she did.

This two step sheet mask is a bit more work, definitely not suitable for the plane, but totally worth it. Especially in winter when my skin feels like it's a bit rougher and drier than usual.

First you apply the Royal Honey Ampoule (the what?) and pat into your skin. And quickly before it dries, you slap on the Essence Mask Sheet. Sheet masks can be a pain in the ass, I know, but I find that Skin Food's masks fit me better than most (I'm looking at you Face Shop). Then you just lay back and relax for fifteen minutes or so; I like to do this right before bed so I'll relax, maybe read a little or catch up on some family e-mails. After fifteen minutes have passed you peel off the mask, toss it, and rub the excess into your skin following up with your normal moisturizer.

My skin feels so soft and hydrated after using this mask and definitely much lively in the morning than usual. I just used up my last one of these so I'll have to hunt down some more or try and find a substitute.

What are your favorite masks? Do you like sheet or wash off masks?

CliniCare Shampoo -}

So many shampoos. So little time.

I know in my January favorites post I was raving on and on (or I could have been, I just tried not to bore you) about Lush's Seanik shampoo, but . . . Seanik and Big aren't everyday shampoos for me. They're just a little too . . . much.

My hair looks amazing. Until my scalp dries out and starts flaking off every where. Dandruff is never a good look for anyone.

So my daily shampoo until this week has been CliniCare with Pantene's Full and Thick shampoo. And I have to say, I quite like it. I'm not in love with it by any means, but seeing as I just finished my second bottle, I find it's pros highly outweighs it's cons.

Probably it's biggest plus mark for me, is I can buy it at my local drug store. Nothing beats the convenience of being able to (theoretically) walk in your pyjamas to the drug store to pick up a new bottle. It's also not supremely costly, around Y1200 for a bottle, which isn't very painful for me.

Another thing to toss into the pro column is the formula. I have what most white people would consider normal textured hair, but in Japan it's considered quite fine, so a lot of typical Japanese shampoos tend to weigh my hair down or make it feel overly greasy. This shampoo doesn't do that for me, and it doesn't dry out my scalp so bonus points for that.

My friend told me to try looking for bottles that had 'ハリ' or 'コシ' which means 'bounce' and 'resilience' in hair.

The only con I can really think of is that it's a Pantene product and I've never heard good things about Pantene from my hair dressers. I remember one telling me Pantene products have a tendency to cover the individual hair strand with some coating or other that gives the illusion and feel of healthy strong hair, when in fact it's not.

At any rate, I'm looking to branch out with a new shampoo now that this one is all used up. Any recommendations or suggestions?

January Favorites -}

January, January. Where have you gone? 

Anyway, let's get down to it! It's been a month and some favorites have clearly emerged.

Lush Seanik Shampo

I've actually had this shampoo lying about for ages, and just never got around to using it. It was bought on a total whim on my last trip to Seoul, thanks to a very good sales girl at the Lush Myeongdong store. I wanted something that would work as a travel substitute for Big and was recommended Seanik.

I think actually prefer the smell of Seanik to Big, and it leaves my hair feeling much more oomphy than normal. I haven't been able to actually test it against Big, since I only picked up it up because I'd run out of the former. But I'm certainly not rushing to get Big back when I've got a whole lot of this left. I love it! 

Yes to Tomatoes
Part of my Christmas present from my lovely sister. She actually bought me the whole range of Yes to Tomatoes! Sometimes she can be so charming and lovable.

I had picked up the spot treatment when I was in the States for the holidays in 2012 and mourning the loss of it once I'd finished it up, so I was giddily excited when I found this in my Christmas package. My acne has cleared up for the most part, but every once and a while I'll get one massive flare up. And it'll be one of those cystic like spots that just sits under the skin and festers. The Yes to Tomatoes! spot treatment has been super helpful in wishing those problem spots off on their way.
The serum has also helped keep period related flare-ups to a minimum. HURRAH! Such a life-saver.

Dove Vanilla and Shea Body Wash

Nothing really exciting about this body wash. It's pretty straight forward. But I swear Dove changes their body wash range depending on the season. My favorite lemongrass or something, is only available in summer so I've taken to purchasing two refill sacks at once. And while I really do love that scent, especially after a work-out, the vanilla-shea is just a really nice rich scent to send me off to bed with.
(I don't have an actual picture of this, since I used a refill pack and tossed it without really thinking about it. Whoops!)

Essie Vested Interest
I always winced at the price of OPI and Essie back in university. Eight dollars for a bottle of nail polish? EIGHT DOLLARS? You can buy a whole meal at Chipotle for eight dollars!!

It wasn't until I moved to Japan and saw the 2,100 yen price tag that I was wishing for the eight dollar sign again. So when I friend picked this bottle of Essie up for me, I was thrilled!
I can't wear many nail polishes at work, but when five o'clock Friday rolls around, you better believe I'm zipping home and doing my nails up with this beautiful color. All weekend. Every weekend. 


OPI Samoan Sands
Now, this lovely nude is a color I can get away with at school and as such I wear it almost every day. It's a perfect match for my skin tone and I feel like it makes my hands look so long and elegant and graceful, when they're not sabotaging my lessons, which probably means practically never in reality and only in my head.

Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Luxembourg

Anna from Vivianna Loves Make-up just kept going on, and on, and on about the Nars lip pencils. And when I finally got myself out of Hakata and over to Tenjin and rediscovered Iwataya's make-up counters, I had to buy one of my own. I love this color, it's not a true red – it's a bit pink-y for that, but I think it'll be a beautiful shade to rock into spring time.
I also apologize since I clearly have not quite figured out to take pictures of swatches. 



Zendaya "Replay"

Aside from being obsessed with Frozen and it's accompanying soundtrack, like the rest of the world, I've been playing some good dance music to get me through the month. This song has been playing on repeat (a tad ironic, here) in my apartment for weeks now and I'm still not tired of dancing around to it. And the choreography is amazing. Love it!