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Mellsavon á nu Body Wash

Mellsavon á nu Body Wash   980yen

Sometimes Japanese brands take the beauty products to the next level. There are many 'weird and gimmicky but unique and interesting' products in Japan that often WOW my friends and clients from overseas. Mellsavon á nu Body Wash is definitely one of them, because I am pretty sure this kind of product does not exist in most countries -except Korea, they come up with crazy ideas!

What makes this shower gel special is the packaging. Did you notice that the product is not in a typical plastic bottle but in a plastic bag instead?

That is the secret. The product comes like this -shower gel in a plastic bag, a pump and a plastic frame. So the idea is that the formula is in an air-tight bag so that it never touches the air, which made them possible to put multiple active ingredients that are prone to oxidation such as rice bran oil, apple derived polyphénol, olive oil, and vitamins.

The shower gel comes in two different types, one is Smooth Moisture which is the one I've got, and another is Rich Moisture in a pick packaging. They also have two types of face wash that have a special packaging to prevent oxidation.

You simply remove the sticker on the plastic bag, set it in the plastic frame and insert the pump. Since both the pump and the plastic bag are specially made, air does not get into the bag.

Smooth Moisture feels moisturising on the skin yet very refreshing -I imagine Rich Moisture is even more moisturising as the name suggests. The scent is supposed to be a blend of Ylang Ylang and Mimosa, but to me it smells like grapefruits...maybe the yellow packaging is influencing my nose.

I like how refreshing it feels, especially now that it's getting hotter and more humid, I like this kind of shower gel. It does not leave my skin feel tight which is also good. More than anything, I like the idea as it's very unique. Japanese people like air-tight packaging as now even soy sauce comes in it!

Flowfushi Mote-Liner in Cherry Cheek

Flowfushi Mote-Liner in Cherry Cheek  1,500yen

Whenever I take friends or clients from overseas to my favourite drugstore in Harajuku, Ainz-Tulpe, 90% of them would ask me 'Is this a good brand?' with a mascara or eyeliner from Flowfushi in hand. You would spot Flowfushi everywhere in Japan and it's hard to ignore. I believe they are one of the best-selling Japanese drugstore brands, and they have a very good reputation.

However, I always answer 'It's popular but I personally am not a big fan' to the question, because that's the truth. They are selling well but I haven't had a good experience with their products. First of all, let me tell you something about their best-selling Mote Mascara. They have 4 different types of mascara and one mascara base. I've tried a couple of them but the only one I kind of liked was the base. It's blue which makes your eyes standout, and I liked the unique concept. However, the mascaras were not good at all in my opinion. If you like Dejavu, which is another mascara I have no idea why have a good reputation, then you might like Mote Mascara too. It sticks your lashes together and make you look like you only have 4 lashes each eye. Not my type at all.

But what I didn't like the most is Mote Liner. I tried it in black and brown when it came out, and I hated them. Firstly, it did not dispense the ink evenly. Sometimes I ended up with a super thick liner just because the ink came out a lot suddenly. Another time the ink didn't come out that I had to keep shaking whilst drawing the line which resulted in a horrible look. Then, the eyeliner dried out within 10 days or so. I tried the hacks hoping they would bring the eyeliner back to life, but nothing did. That happened to 4 or 5 of my Mote Liner, and I finally decided not to purchase their products ever.

But when I saw Mote Liner in this limited shade Cherry Cheek in March, I couldn't resist. I knew Mote Liner might let me down again, but the shade looked too pretty not to give it a go. And it's only 1500yen. Why not?

I instantly fell in love with this beautiful shade. It's somewhere in-between pink, red and orange. I have never seen any other brands with this kind of shade of eyeliner. It's such a unique and sophisticated shade.

How pretty is that? I am truly obsessed with this eyeliner. And as you can see in the photos above, it draws a perfect line without fail. It allows me to draw thick and thin lines very easily, and never budges on my eyes. It stays vibrant all day and does not make me look like I have an eye infection! It goes well with a simple makeup like the one I'm waring in the photos, or you can go really bold with orange or pink eyeshadows.

It has not been dried out after 2 months, which makes me wonder if the ones I have tried were from a bad batch and were defective. Have you tried Mote Liner before? How did you get on if you have?

Obagi C Powder Wash

Obagi C Powder Wash  1,800yen
Obagi is a Japanese brand founded by Dr. Obagi and Rohto, one of the most famous drugmakers in Japan in 2001. They are known for their Vitamin C Serum which was an innovative product back in those days as it contains pure Vitamin C in high concentration. After 16 years, their serums are still selling well and Obagi as a brand remains well-known.

They recently brought out this new product called Powder Wash, which looks very similar to Beauty Clear Powder from suisai which has been super popular especially among tourists from China. This is basically enzyme powder that removes excess sebum on your skin that causes clogged pores. The biggest difference is that Obagi C Powder Wash contains Vitamin C to moisturise and clear up the skin along with enzyme.

One pack comes with 30 little portions. I find it very handy because you can simply take one or two when you travel, rather than carrying the big heavy jar like Rice Enzyme Powder from Tatcha (which is an amazing product, too!). Also it's good to know how much you are supposed to use at a time.

The powder is very fine and is not scented. Simply take the powder in the palm, add a little bit of warm water and make it into paste. You can use a net to create fluffy and bouncy foam with it too if that is what you prefer. Keep in mind that you just need a tiny bit of water -2-3 drops to be specific!

Gently massage the clean skin with the paste or foam, whichever you like, and rinse with warm water. You will feel the instant effect because enzyme removes excess sebum and old protein in the pores and leave the skin feel clean and moisturised. It's kind of shocking how smooth it makes my skin feels just by one use. I let my husband try it and he was impressed too that I gave him the whole pack. I am not sure how often you are supposed to use it, but it does not replace your daily cleansing step. I use it once or twice a week whenever my skin feels oily or unstable.

Obagi C is widely available in Japan, mainly at Matsumoto Kiyoshi, Loft, Tokyu Hands, Ainz-Tulpe, Plaza and Tomods.

Fasio Mascara Base Long

One of the reasons why I am not a big fan of Japanese mascaras is because most of them contain fibres. They are contained intending to make your lashes longer, but they make my lashes look super wonky and strange. Which is why I usually try to avoid any mascaras that have a word "fibre' written proudly on the packaging.

But this mascara base is an exception. It's full of fibres that you can actually see white fibres stuck on your lashes when applied -not my cup of tea at all. But hear me out, it makes my lashes look AMAZING. And it makes any mascaras waterproof. Magical, huh?

Fasio is a Japanese drugstore brand that I can't care less. They have been around for decades but they barely come out with an amazing product in my opinion. Though their mascaras have a good reputation, I personally have never been a fan of them, and again I couldn't care less about the brand at all.

They brought out two types of mascara base this year. One is 'LONG' which I am writing about at the moment, and another is 'VOLUME' which, like the name suggests, claims to make your lashes voluminous.

As you can see the formula is white, and it does make your lashes look white once applied. I pay extra attention to apply mascara on top not to miss any little spot otherwise I would end up with white lashes peeking through.

I apply this mascara base after curing my lashes with Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler. Sometimes I warm up the eyelash curler with a hair dryer to make it easier. The important thing is that you must apply mascara before the base dries to avoid getting clumps. And believe me, the base dries pretty quickly!

Not only does it make my lashes longer, but it makes them look thicker and fuller. I like paring it with False Lash Sculpt Mascara from L'Oreal because it smudges so bad on me when worn on its own (is it just me or this mascara never dries on the lashes and they feel sticky all day...?). No mascara would smudge when paired with this base, instead you'd need an eye makeup remover or cleansing oil!

I never pair the base with Better Than Sex Mascara or Velvet Noir Mascara as I love how they look alone and they don't smudge anyway, but it's really handy to wear underneath mascara that doesn't get along with my lashes. For only 1,100yen, I think it's a nice product to have in your collection. Fasio is available at drugstores such as Matsumoto Kiyoshi.

+OneC Premium Hydrogel Eye Patch

+OneC Premium Hydrogel Eye Patch  2,600yen*
As you know, we have tons of different kinds of face mask in Asia -especially in Japan and Korea. Normally I do not like Korean beauty products because they break me out nine times out of ten. Korean products are said to be very effective which made them popular among western people, but the reason why they are effective is because they are high in active-ingredients content. Their Pharmaceutical Affairs Law isn't as strict as it is in Japan (I am not sure about comparison with the western law), meaning it is possible for them to put more of active ingredients, which can irritate sensitive skin sometimes. My colleague who was living in Korea for years told me that most of Korean friends of hers used Japanese skincare products rather than Korean ones, because they find Japanese ones much higher quality, and they did not understand the recent hype of Korean beauty in the western countries.

I do not have sensitive skin particularly, but Korean products often break me out. I can deal with some spots and pimples, but I was shocked to see my skin under the eyes started peeling off after using an eye cream from a Korean natural beauty brand. Since then I have been extra careful when it comes to Korean skincare products -I have been trying my best to avoid them to be specific.

When I got +OneC Premium Hydrogel Eye Patch, I was skeptical because the product was made in Korea. I was ready to face the terrible state of my skin. However, I find this product rather brilliant. After a bit of research, I found out that their products are made in Korea but are produced and developed by a Japanese company. Ah that makes sense!

+OneC's products are hybrid Korean-Japanese beauty. Korean brands come up with unexpected and outrageous ideas whereas Japanese brands can be pretty conservative yet very careful with ingredients. When those two elements meet, the world is introduced to something completely new and innovative.

Put the longest intro aside, let's get into the product review. +OneC Premium Hydrogel Eye Patch is such an amazing under eye mask hydrates the skin instantly. The masks contain bird's nest extract, horse placenta, aloe, cucumber, CoQ10, ceramide, hyaluronic acid and collagen -which all said to have anti-aging properties.

This jelly like texture is due to the fact the masks are made with agar which slowly melts on the skin. You can actually melt the masks after use in the bath to make the most of its benefit. The masks can be used under the eyes and around the mouth to prevent smile lines which Japanese people tend to hate.

The mask sits on the skin without discomfort -for about 5 minutes. It slowly dries out and starts peeling off from the side of the nose as you can see in the photo (and this is when the silicone mask from Daiso comes in handy), but hydrates instantly that you do not need to leave it on the skin for more than 5 minutes. I tend to use this mask in the morning before makeup, to hydrate and prep the skin before piling on tons of concealers.

Having 60 sheets come in one container with a spatula, 2600yen is not too expensive in my opinion. The fresh scent is very subtle that I do not feel uncomfortable putting around my eyes. However, the skin under the eyes is the thinnest on the face, so you might want to be extra careful if you are sensitive to fragrance. They also have a jelly face mask that I loved too. If you have sensitive skin that prone to break out by using Korean beauty products, why not try +OneC to see if your skin likes it?


Visée Lash Volume Mania Mascara in Burgundy

Visée Lash Volume Mania Mascara in Burgundy 1,400yen
It's actually a while ago, but a popular drugstore makeup brand Visée launched the winter collection includes glittery face powder called Innocent Veil Powder and some limited shades of lipstick and eyeshadow palette. But the only product attracted me was this mascara. They brought out two limited shades of the mascara, one is navy blue and another is burgundy. As I am a warm-tone kind of girl, I picked up burgundy.

Before I start my review on this mascara, I must tell you one thing -I am not a big fan of Japanese mascara. Most of Japanese mascaras have fibres that tend to make your lashes wonky, and most likely pretty wet that stick the lashes together which makes you look like you only have 5 lashes each eye. For that reason I gravitate towards western mascaras. The only Japanese mascaras that separate my lashes are Integrate Matsuiku Girls' Lash Otemba Curl and Heroin Make Long & Curl Mascara Super Water Proof. But for some reason, Japanese people LOVE this kind of formula -both Mote Mascara and Dejavu Mascara, the best-selling mascaras in Japan, stick the lashes together.

So bear that in mind that it might just be my personal preference, but I am not a huge fan of this mascara though the shade is gorgeous! The brush is a traditional mascara brush which looked promising when I had a look at the store, that gave me confidence that the mascara would be separating. However, it instantly sticks the lashes and even a little comb wouldn't help to separate them.

Though it's called 'Volume Maniac', I don't find it volumising at all. It makes my lashes look longer, but definitely not voluminous. However, I LOVE the colour of this mascara -not bold that you can wear on your top and bottom lashes on a daily basis, but gives a little something to the whole look. It's truly a shame that the texture isn't my favourite, because the shade is absolutely gorgeous. I tend to wear it on my bottom lashes only, and use a different mascara on my top lashes (my favourite mascara at the moment is Better Than Sex Mascara Waterproof).

I am glad to try out this mascara, but still wish the formula was a little different! Do you like coloured mascara? Let me know on Twitter or Instagram!

One of the most popular lip balms in Japan! Curel Lip Care Cream

Curel Lip Care Cream  850yen*
This lip balm, apparently, is one of the best-selling lip balms in Japan. The brand Curel is known for their products developed especially for those with super sensitive skin caused by dryness. The brand is easily accessible at the drugstores in Japan, and the price isn't too high for a brand for sensitive skin.

When it comes to lip balm, I swear by Carmex and Uriage, nothing else. I have tried many lip balms in the past but 90% of them did not work, or made the condition of my lips even worse for some reason, which is why I only buy Carmex or Uriage. So when I received Curel Lip Care Cream, I was pretty skeptical. I was not expecting anything spectacular. But I must tell you, this is such a basic but good lip balm.

The key ingredient is "creamed' that holds and locks moisture into the skin. It also has another ingredient that coats the surface of the lips so that the moisture stays. It is completely fragrance-free which is suitable for those who are sensitive to fragrance and essential oils.

The texture is very light that you can't even tell that i's on your lips. The lip balm itself is pretty hard which is a good thing because you don't accidentally apply too much of it, and also it makes a perfect base for a lip stick as it leaves a very thin layer of the balm which don't disturb the finish. I noticed my lips weren't as dry after a couple of days and now I am hooked. I still like Uriage but Curel Lip Care Cream is slightly cheaper (Triage is 1040yen I believe, and Curel is 850yen) and works as good -what is the reason for me to go back to Uriage? Now I am fully convinced why this is so hyped up.

Jazz up your style with Paperself!

Whilst I was in London, 80% of the compliments I got there were on my tattoos -not real ones because I have none, but the temp ones from the brand called Paperself. Paperself is one of my favourite brands at the moment. They have paper lashes as well as sticker tattoos, worn by Elizabeth Banks and Jennifer Lawrence in the movie The Hunger Games, Rihanna in "Princess of China' music video and Anne Hathaway at SAG awards 2013. They have collaborated with Shu Uemura and Alexander McQueen as well.

On a chilly rainy day in September, I met the founder Chunwei in London. He is originally from Taiwan, but launched Paperself in London with his wife, where they have been based in. Their sense of design is exceptional and delicate which I love, and somewhat fragile.

Their eyelashes are 100% made out of paper, which means they are very lightweight and pretty comfortable to wear. The lashes are super delicate and well-made, which made me ask Chunwei if a lot of lashes get wasted during the manufacturing process. 'Of course, they are easy to break' he replied.

Can you see how detailed the lashes are? Can you believe these lashes are only £12.50 considering how money and time consuming the manufacturing process must be? And he told me that I can wear one pair 2-3 times if I would take care of them carefully.

I am wearing Peonies in the photos above without mascara. You can make it even more gorgeous with mascara or normal false lashes if you want, but I thought I'd go for a simpler look as I do not have the biggest eyes in the world.

They are very easy to apply, unbelievably lightweight and it feels like I am not wearing anything on my lashes. The only thing you must be careful is that the band is pretty thick that it looks better with a black eyeliner to hide it.

You can customise the lashes as well -cut them in small and stuck them on the face with a bit of glue. Or just like Anne Hathaway did on red carpet, you can stuck them on your nails and apply top coat on. You might think these lashes are for special occasions like weddings and parties, but actually they are perfect for daily use.

The lashes are gorgeous, but for me their tattoos are the star products. I was wearing their tattoos nearly every day in London and I received countless compliments. To be honest, I was counting at the beginning (which was 5 from strangers within a couple of hours) but after a few days I stopped trying because it was literally countless. From a stranger sat next to me in the bus to a sales assistant at a shop, and of course my friends as well, they all asked 'Are they real? They look so cool, where can I get them from?'.

One set has two sheets, and you cut them as you like and stuck them with a wet towel on top to secure them. It only takes a minute or two, so I was choosing which tattoo to wear as if I was picking my necklace and earrings. Its lasting power isn't too bad either, some lasted for 4 days or so without fading.

My favourite design is Constellations as it looks elegant yet not too feminine. They just came out with new designs too that you will definitely find your favourite. Their tattoos have got beautiful gold details that reflect lights in such a subtle yet gorgeous way, and they look even more beautiful on the skin.

I like the idea of wearing a small tattoo around the neck and ear which I am going to try this autumn / winter. Their instagram is full of ideas if you don't know how to rock them. Their products are sold at Selfridges, Le Bon Marché and online. Their website has the best variation of the products.

Integrate Snipe Eyeliner in Shiny Sunset

Integrate Snipe Eyeliner in Shiny Sunset  1,026yen
I have been into orange eye makeup for a while. I always though warm toned eyeshadow such as pink and orange would make my eyes look smaller, especially when a winged eyeliner is not involved. But this eyeliner came along and it completely changed my perception.

I had heard a lot of good things about Integrate Snipe Eyeliner, but I had never tried it because I always missed a chance to get their limited shade which comes out occasionally in addition to their basic shades which I had never been interested in; black and brown.

But this time, I didn't miss out! The shade I got is 'Shiny Sunset' which is a beautiful orange shade with a bit of glitter. Its twist-up packaging makes it easy to use it up.

The pencil is very creamy that it glides on when it touches the skin. It doesn't drag the skin which is always a good thing for an eyeliner.

It goes well with a simple makeup like the photos above, or sometimes I wear some peachy and orangey shades on the crease to emphasise the colours. I LOVE how fresh it looks, which might sound a little weird to say considering the fact we are going towards autumn / winter -but I'm going to wear this look all year round!

I also love that this eyeliner is metallic, it catches the light and adds a bit of gorgeous and sophisticated feel to the look. Imagine if it was matte -it would look kind of boring and tacky in my opinion!

I wonder why they don't launch 10 different shades as a permanent collection...they'd sell well for sure! I cannot wait for them to release another limited shade, they have an amazing sense of colour so whatever they'd release, I will buy.

It was launched a couple of months ago but I still spot it here and there in Tokyo, and also available online.

Two eyeshadow brushes you need

How many eyeshadow brushes do you have? I don't have a ridiculous amount but I have at least 10 -which I believe is pretty normal in the beauty blogging community...But, there are two eyeshadow brushes that stand out, that I keep reaching for. And they are affordable.

Tapered Shadow Brush 203 (left)
This is definitely one of the best eyeshadow brushes I've ever used. You can use it to apply a base shade, crease shade, and darker shade -pretty much any looks can be created by this brush. It blends eyeshadow seamlessly and flawlessly.

It helps some eyeshadows that I usually struggle to work with blend beautifully, and I there is no eyeshadow goes patchy when applied with this brush. However, I cannot find this brush on their official website. I would be so sad if they discontinued it...but don't worry, it's still available on iHerb which I put the link above. I bought one a few months ago, and bought another because I liked it so much that I needed two. I will purchase a couple more once I'm back in Japan -before it's sold out.

Oval Shadow Brush 200 (right)
Because I liked Tapered Shadow Brush, I bought this one to see if it's as good. I must say I like 203 better, but this is a very good quality brush for sure. It's so fluffy, thick and soft. One swipe would cover the whole lid and it applies eyeshadow evenly. I only used it for a base shade, and just like Tapered Shadow Brush does, it blends any eyeshadow perfectly.

I brought about 8 eyeshadow brushes from home but I haven't used any other ones but these two. They do not look super high quality by the looks of it, but I promise you will satisfy with the finish it provides.

Coloured contacts for daily use

The variation of coloured contacts at drugstores in Tokyo is overwhelming and insane. There are so many different types at different price range. I had never been a big fan of coloured contacts until I discovered this brand called DAZZSHOP, because generally they are unnatural and uncomfortable to wear. The ones made in Korea were the worst out of everything I've tried -they were so uncomfortable that I couldn't stand for 3 minutes. But when I found DAZZSHOP, that have some physical shops in Tokyo where you can try the lenses on virtually on an iPad, I couldn't resist but to try them. And I must say they are very high quality lenses that are super comfortable, thin, natural and affordable. There is nothing negative about them -yes I am obsessed.

I have three different types in hand out of SIX, and I am going to show you what they look like.

Airy Accent  1,900yen *
If you are new to coloured contacts and have dark brown / black eyes, this might be perfect to start with. Airy Accent is like a natural version of 'Define' lenses that Asian girls (mostly Japanese and Korean) wear. I personally am not a big fan of the look because it makes me look like a cyborg, and the eyes lose its light. This one is very natural, yet makes a big difference to the look.

You can see there is a gradational frame around the eye in the photo, but who would look in the eye this close? If you look at the eyes from a normal distance, you cannot even tell the coloured contacts are on. None of my family members and friends have noticed that I had them on. But they've complimented how nice I looked, without noticing that the lenses were making a big difference ;)

Blended 02  2,000yen
Blended 02 is perfect if you are Asian dreaming to have hazel eyes. This kind of coloured contacts are popular in Japan, but most of them are very bold that some girls feel shy to wear them. I must say I really enjoy wearing Blended 02 because it completely changes my look. I LOVE paring Blended 02 with smoky eyes because it suits brighter eyes than darker eyes in my opinion.

Although I cannot say this is the most natural coloured lens, it's not too unnatural at the same time. I think I would be able to rock this if I had a bigger nose -with my tiny nose it's never convincing that I have natural hazel eyes.

Sparkling 01  2,000yen
Sparkling 01 is more natural compared to Blended 02, but still gives a 'kick' to the look. Its graduation from grey to hazel is gorgeous, yet not too much.

This one is like in-between shade -very natural that you can see through the true colour of my eye, yet adds something different to my natural eye. Grey and hazel ombre looks beautiful, and it's perfect for when I want something more than Airy Accent but not as strong as Blended 02.

They also have very simple and elegant cosmetics as well. The eyeliners are super pigmented, do not budge and stay on my eyelids for hours and hours. The blusher is pigmented yet not too strong that goes on to one spot.

Look how pigmented the sky blue eyeliner looks! It's not watery nor drying, easily glides on and does not budge. Their 2016 Autumn collection called Scandalous Line is out now with many chic and elegant shades perfect for the coming season (though I do not even want to think about the fact summer is almost over!).

Check out their official website HERE.