Best Japanese Drugstore Beauty Products

Hey, all!

As I mentioned several times in this blog, although now I live in Indonesia, I once lived in Japan for 3 years from 2013-2016. During that time, I, of course, used Japanese drugstore beauty products a lot. And by doing so, I found several gems that I keep re-purchasing even though now I’ve returned to my country.

So I thought today I want to share with you my own Japanese drugstore beauty products recommendations in case you are traveling to Japan but not sure what to get. Or maybe you are just moved to Japan and not sure where to start since Japanese drugstores are quite huge and potentially overwhelming since everything is written in Japanese!

So if you are interested in, just keep on reading!

Skin Care

Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence

I can safely say that this is the best drugstore sunscreen I’ve ever tried in my whole life (and believe me when I say it, I tried quite a lot!). It’s super affordable, non-greasy, and quickly melt into the skin the second it’s applied. It does have fresh scent but not too overpowering. And I even feel like it adds adherence to my skin so that my makeup sticks better onto my skin when I’m using this sunscreen.

I don’t have any plan to try a new sunscreen anytime soon since I haven’t heard anything that’s close match to this one. If you could get your hands on this, I highly recommend you to try it out. And since Biore is a quite globally known brand, I’m pretty sure you can get this not only in Japan but maybe also in your country, too (it’s sold in select Indonesian drugstores, by the way).

Cure Natural Aqua Gel

Natural Aqua Gel Cure is a remarkable skin care product. Cure is a fragrance-free, color free and preservative free product made from activated hydrogen water that prevents oxidation. General chemical peeling uses strong acids (approx. pH1.3) to dissolve protein. Cure, on the other hand, gently catches dead skin cells on the surface of the skin and removes it.

citated from https://cureaquagel.com/

This one is I think maybe one of the most unique products Japanese drugstore has. It’s not a cleanser, not a facial wash, not a scrub, it’s an exfoliator in a form of gel. The texture it’s like gel but more liquid-y or watery, not as thick as man’s hair gel, for example. I’ve also mentioned it briefly on my post about my skin care routine.

It’s meant to be used only twice a week because it’s an exfoliator. I use it after I double-cleanse my skin or basically after I make sure there’s no makeup left on my face. To use it, you just have to take 1 pump of it on your palm, and then massage it all over your face like when you use your scrub. While doing that, just like its claim, you will find it catches your dead skin cells and removes it. I feel my skin is very soft and clear after using it.

Kanebo Suisai Beauty Clear Powder

suisai Beauty Clear Powder face wash is catching the eye of the worldwide audience with an enzyme-activated formula that whisks away impurities and unclogs pores as it protects the skin’s natural moisture. A popular choice for tourists who desire the Japanese secret to even, finely textured skin.

citated from https://www.kanebo.com/brands/suisai/

If you can’t already guess what this is, this is a facial wash in the form of powder. One small jar contains the powder is for one single usage. To use it, you just mix it with water. Adjust the amount of water according to how scrubby you want it to be. The more water you add, the less scrubby it is, and vice versa.

After using it, my skin feels so clean as if all the dirt has been taken off without making my face feels tight. It’s not very expensive, but here in Indonesia, it’s not sold in drugstores, but only in online shop run by personal shoppers so the price becomes quite expensive. So I can only buy it by asking my friends who are still living in Japan to help me buy it when they will have a short vacation to Indonesia. Since it happens only maybe once or twice a year, I use this fairly rarely.

If you can find it with reasonable price, I highly recommend you to incorporate this in your daily skin care routine!

Purequa Face Wipes

Actually, Japanese drugstores offer wide variety of face wipes, but I really love this particular one. It’s really soft on the skin so you won’t feel you rub your skin too hard. It’s really effective in removing our makeup as the first step of our skin care routine. According to my experience, it can also removes my waterproof eyeliner and mascara!

Makeup

Mote Liner

This one is really hyped up by many Asian beauty bloggers/ vloggers and after trying it, I agree with the hype. The tip is not a felt tip but it’s a very fine little brush that can bend. I personally like this type of tip because it makes applying liners so much easier. I’m in no way expert in applying liner, so I think this one is also very beginner-friendly!

Please note that the one that I have here is actually a limited-edition navy blue. They have other options too such as brown (also limited-edition) and of course black (permanent line)! Even though this one is navy blue, if you look it not too close up on my face, it doesn’t really look like I’m wearing a blue eye liner because it’s pretty dark. I enjoy wearing it so much lately!

Canmake Cream Cheeks

First of all, I found that many Japanese drugstore makeup products are too sheer for my skin tone or even my liking. Be it blushes, contours/ bronzers, lip products, etc. That’s because the nature of Japanese daily makeup style itself is usually a no-makeup makeup look. BUT! These particular blushes are exception! They are available in many different shades and formula so you will have some options there. Besides that, Canmake as a brand in general has other interesting products and it’s one of the most affordable in Japanese drugstore! I highly recommend you to check their other products also!

Miscellaneous

Megrythm Steam Eye Mask

I never knew this was a thing before I found it in Japanese drugstore. It’s an eye mask that releases steam that’s supposed to help us relaxing our eyes after a tiring busy day. Try to wear it before bed after a nice warm shower or bath!

‘Ashirira Sheet’ Detox Foot Patch

‘Ashirira’ is an acronym of ‘ashi’ which means ‘foot’ in Japanese and ‘rira’ which was taken from English word ‘relax’ that is read as ‘rirakusu’ in Japanese. This product is a pair of patches or sheets that you stick onto your soles before you go to bed and leave it until you wake up. The next day when you take it off, it’s supposed to absorb all toxic from your body. There are actually some debates surrounding this product. Some says it’s gimmicky and not doing what it claims. Some says it works. I think if we want to proof whether it works or not, we have to scientifically test it in a lab. I personally like wearing it but don’t feel significant changes just by using it daily (which I don’t). But I still think it’s nice to have and recommend you to try it out!

Honorable Mention

Shiseido Senka Perfect Whip

image courtesy: sociolla.com

I actually don’t have this with me right now but I used to use it when I lived in Japan. It’s a very light-weight and gentle facial wash. It cleans but doesn’t feel tight on the skin. It’s available here in Indonesia but I didn’t repurchase it because I’m currently enjoying my Cetaphil facial wash. If you live in Japan and need one that I recommend, it’s this one! It’s one of the most affordable also!

Lululun Sheet Masks

I think I only used it once but I remember liking it, and I know many peple are hyping this sheet masks so much. They have several options such as: hydrating, brightening, and balancing. I also didn’t repurchase it by now because to be honest, I like my Etude House sheet masks more because I feel the Etude House ones fit my face’s size better!

image courtesy: allabout-japan.com

That’s all my Japanese drugstore beauty products recommendation! I hope it helps you in sorting out your list to buy while you’re in Japan. Ah..writing this brings back all good memories and makes me miss Japan even more! I wish I could go back someday even just for several days!

What are products that most intriguing to you? Do you find your wish list here? And do you like if I write more about Japan’s related recommendation? Like for example unusual traveling spots recommendation? Or supermarket recommendation? Please tell me on comment section below!

See you on my next post!

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Zoella x Colourpop Collection: Buy or Bye

Hey, everyone!

In today’s post, as you can see from the title, I want to discuss with you about a new launch from Colourpop (CP), which is a collaboration with a British Youtuber, Zoella, called Brunch Date Collection.

The whole ‘Brunch Date’ Collection

I don’t usually write this kind of theme on my blog, but this one is, I don’t know, worth to discuss? There is some sort of controversy surrounding this collection. However, if you come here expecting some kind of bashing or shady comments toward the collaborator, I’m sorry in advance that you ain’t gonna get it here in my blog. This blog is a place where only positivity is allowed. With that being said, I’ll try my best to review this collection as objective as I could.

Of course since I don’t live in the US, and CP doesn’t even know that I’m existed in this world, I haven’t got my hands on this collection. So I’ll be reviewing this collection solely based on pictures, swatches, and videos I’ve seen online floating in the internet ever since CP teased about it on their Instagram account.

Speaking about the teaser, I remembered being so shook when CP first posted Zoella’s photo on their IG account. It was like in the middle of the night here in Indonesia and I was about to sleep when suddenly it popped on my IG notification (and yes, I turned on notification for CP IG new post and story). I know right away that the comment section of that post would be full of people questioning CP’s decision to collab with her. It was just so sudden.

Just for a little background, I know who Zoella is, of course. I subscribed to her channel around 5 years ago, I think. I even bought some of her beauty products back when I was still living in Japan. Yes, I got them sent to my door all the way from the UK to Japan. And I remembered liking them! So, I don’t have any bad feelings or disappointment toward Zoella in particular. I just stopped watching her for almost around 2 years now. Not because I hate her, I just found more informative and entertaining contents from other Youtubers.

As far as I remember from the time I subscribed her and still watched her videos, I rarely heard she mentioned CP’s products. It’s true that she mentioned CP a couple times (CP even made a kind of their timeline with Zoella (maybe) to emphasize that Zoella did mention CP products sometimes on her channel). But she was not like some other Youtubers such as Kathleen Lights, Thatgirlshaexo, Mesijesibeauty, Andrea Matillano, Amanda from makeupjustforfun, or even Judy C that resides in New Zealand, that keep reviewing CP’s products on their channels. That’s why I found it’s so sudden and unexpected that CP chose to collab with her, not because of her controversy.

Of course I understand that CP wanted to expand their business scoop to the UK, and maybe they saw Zoella is still one of the most powerful influencer from there. Since it’s been a long time since I watched her, I’m unsure whether this is true or not. However, despite her controversy, I must admit that Zoella has a thing for product’s design. The first time I saw the collection’s packaging and color selection, I know right from the bat that it is very Zoella. I’ll talk about this more a bit later on this post.

Ok, I think it’s enough for the background. Now let’s talk about the collection itself!

This collection has been available on Colourpop website since February 27th. It consists of an eyeshadow palette, 3 ultra matte lips, 3 lippie pencils, 2 supernova shadows, 2 pencil gel liners, 1 pressed powder blush, and 1 pressed powder highlighter. Let’s discuss the items one by one!

Brunch Date Eye Shadow Palette

It’s the first time CP released a 12-pan eye shadow palette with this kind of layout. Usually they went with 3×4 layout. It retails for USD 18, the same as their usual 12-pan palettes with mirror.

Packaging-wise, it’s CUTE and very Zoella. She always has this kind of 70s or retro vibe, and TBH I like it. But, I rarely bought something just because of the packaging. The actual product itself must be worth buying.

The first time I saw the palette, I wasn’t very enthusiastic. To me it just looks neutral with a pop of literally one blue shade. Some shades even look similar to each other. And that pop of blue is just out of nowhere. However, after I watched swatches from Thatgirlshaexo, Ourbeautycult, Dupethat, and CP official Youtube account, I can see that those shades are not exactly similar. Some shades even look prettier and more unique than my initial thought, such as ‘skinny latte’, ‘cinnamon sugar’, ‘sundae funday’, and ‘sunny side up’. And about that one blue shade, based on the palette packaging that resembles blueberry waffles, I think they want it as a representative of the blueberry.

Formula-wise, based on reviews from those links I mentioned above, I think they are as good as any other CP eye shadow palettes. I have tried 6 different palettes from CP and none of them are disappointing. So I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be disappointed either if I bought this palette.

Do I have similar shades already in my collection? I think so. Are four unique shades out of 12 with a pop of blue enough for me to buy a palette? Absolutely not. If I took out the cute packaging and replace it with plain white for example, would it still be look extraordinary? I doubt that. But…

If you are new in makeup and you don’t have any eye shadow palette and you want to try playing with eye shadow for the first time, I think this palette is good for you to start. Do the shades look pretty? Yes. Is it cheap? It’s indeed fairly affordable. Is the formula good? CP has one of the best eye shadow formula among other affordable brands.

If you decided to buy this palette, you would be able to create some neutral looks as well as a couple colorful ones. If you are a beginner, this palette is definitely for you!

Ultra Matte Lips and Lippie Pencils

They released these items in 3 bundles consists of matching ultra mate lip (UML) and lippie pencil (LP). Each bundle retails for USD 11.5, but if you buy the UML and LP separately, the UML retails for USD 6.5 and the LP retails for USD 5, so you actually don’t save any penny by buying them in a bundle, but you do get a cute milk-box packaging.

“what happens at brunch” lip bundle

The first bundle called “what happens at brunch” consists of a previously-existing LP called “oh snap” and a new UML called “@me”. This bundle has a dusty pink mauve color vibe.

“give us the goss” lip bundle

The second one called “give us the goss” consists of also a previously-existing LP called “bossy” and a new UML called “self love club”. This bundle has a true red color vibe.

“my day ones” lip bundle

The last one called “my day ones” consists of a new LP called “little one” and also a new UML with the same name. This bundle has a nude color vibe.

Again, these three bundles are very typical in any CP collaborations. Almost all of collaboration that has lip products offers this kind of color selection: nude, mauve, and red; as this kind of variety seems to be appealing to many people.

I can safely say that you might already have these colors in your collection, even though it’s not from CP. And so do I. Therefore, I don’t have any intention to pick any of the lip bundles.

However, let’s say I didn’t have similar colors like these in my collection, I might pick up the mauve one, because that’s the color I can get a lot of use everyday. The nude one is a bit tricky for me that has medium skin tone. It’s hard for me to find nude color that doesn’t wash me out. And the red one, I might pick it up because red is a color that sometimes I need in a special occasion.

Supernova Shadows

“group hug” supernova shadow bundle

They released two new supernova shadows, from left to right are “OG” and “bellini”. They also have them in a bundle retails for USD 14, and each of them retails for USD 7.

On the bottle both of them look so similar, but based on real swatches (again from links I mentioned above), “OG” is more of a golden champagne with silver sprinkle and “bellini” is more of a metallic rose gold. The “OG” one clearly has bigger sprinkle of glitter while the “bellini” is more of a metallic sheen.

I think both of them look pretty. I personally never tried CP supernova shadow and don’t have any plan to try them soon since I still have so many shadow palettes and super shock shadows I want to use up. Based on the color itself, I’m pretty sure CP already has similar color before, maybe from Kathleen Light’s Zodiac collection.

Pencil Gel Liners

from left to right: “xoxo” and “sincerely yours”

They released two new creme gel liners, “xoxo” and “sincerely yours”, retails for USD 5 each. On CP website, “xoxo” is described as pearlized black and “sincerely yours” is describe as pearlized chocolate brown. So they suppose to have some pearly flecks on the formula. If you swatch them on your hands, they might appear quite clearly, but honestly once they’re on your eyes, I don’t think they’re visible enough.

I personally think these products are not necessary. Even if CP creme gel liners were great, they already have black and brown existing in their collection. You don’t necessarily need these particular two if you want a black or brown gel liners.

I personally don’t have any plan to pick up any of CP creme gel liners, this collab or not. I read some reviews about their creme gel liners that said that they are easy to fall off the pencil. Moreover, here in Indonesia we have similar products with great quality and much cheaper price. So, I’m not particularly interested in this product.

Pressed Powder Blush and Highlighter

from left to right: “swipe right” and “soul mate”

And finally, last products in this collection, the pressed powder highlighter called “swipe right” and blush called “soul mate”. Each of them retails for USD 8.

Based on the swatches above, I think the color is pretty and universally flattering. For the blush I think I have similar color already in my collection. But for the highlighter, I’m currently don’t have highlighter with pink sheen like this product.

However, for me personally, CP blush and highlighter’s price is a little bit expensive compare to the amount of product contained in one container. There are other products from other drugstore brands which are cheaper and have the same great quality and amount of product.

For my personal circumstances, I have several consideration before buying a product: what I am looking for, my budget, and what I already have in my collection. If I really had to buy, I’d probably pick up the highlighter and the lippie pencils in “boss” and “oh snap” because I don’t have those colors in my collection. If I really had to give recommendation, I’ll recommend the palette for sure because CP palette is the best among other affordable brands, the lip bundles because CP lip products are also great, and the pressed powder blush and highlighter.

With that being said, I do think it’s a pretty collection overall. I’m sure the quality of the products are as great as any other CP products. However, I don’t think I need any of these stuffs at the moment. Especially because I’m doing a low-buy year now, I must be very selective on where to invest my money on. Therefore, I don’t have any plan to buy anything from this collection.

Okay, that’s all I want to say about this collection. I hope you found this somewhat helpful in your decision making about buying these products or not.

Will you pick up anything from this collection? Or maybe have you? If yes, please share some thoughts about the actual products themselves based on your experience!

See you on my next post!

Life as A Blogger

Hello, everyone!

First of all, thank you so much for supporting me by reading, commenting, liking, and following this blog. I can’t believe it’s been two months since I revamped this blog and mainly focus on writing about beauty, traveling, and life style. And by this short time span, I learned a lot of new things which I believe will be beneficial for my self-improvement. And I hope this blog is someway beneficial for you who read it too.

In today’s post I won’t be talking about beauty-related stuffs. I just want to write casually and share with you things I unconsciously learned by focusing my life as a blogger for a solid 2 months. I said ‘unconsciously’ because at first I decided to do this to push myself to become someone who is more productive in a way besides doing my duty as a housewife and a mom. But after doing it with all my heart, I realized that there are so many things I suddenly am able to do, that I couldn’t do before I’m doing this ‘job’.

Doing a ‘job’ that doesn’t have a boss or a designated time and place is really challenging. I knew it from the start, therefore I made myself a very tight schedule that I must follow to be able to do it smoothly. First, I made a list about things I wanted to achieve each week or each month. And then, I arranged my schedule daily for a month according to that to-do-list. This way, I knew what I will have to finish by the end of each day.

However, doing a self-employed job needs flexibility. For example, sometimes I swapped blog posts I wanted to publish on that week. That’s why I wrote my schedule in a way it could be moved easily. I wrote them on sticky notes so I didn’t have to scratch my planner when I need to reschedule something. In a day where I have a lot of things to do, I also made a detail to-do-list for that day. Here are my monthly schedule for January and February look like.

January Schedule
February Schedule

Following those schedules I made by myself is really hard. I need to push myself real hard and restrain my ego to rest or to have fun. Sometimes I need to film until 1 AM. On the other day, I need to edit my YouTube video early in the morning before my son woke up (and by early here I meant before 5 AM). I also had to bring my laptop every time I was out of town because I need to write or to edit. This makes traveling harder than before because no matter where I go, I will always have to work.

Writing a blog post means I need to provide pictures to support the content I want to deliver in that post. In my case, not only this blog, but I also update my Instagram and YouTube account regularly. Therefore, learning to take picture and film video properly becomes necessary. I haven’t invested in a good DSLR camera, though, because my biggest focus for now are doing this continuously and giving meaningful content. But, during this 2 months, I was able to learn object arrangement, photo editing, and also video editing!

I took photos for my Instagram using my phone camera. I find it easier that way because I can directly edit the photos with an application installed on my phone. The application is called ‘Snapseed’. This application not only has variety of different filter, but can also edit photo manually, selectively, and also add some watermarks. Here is example of before-after of my Instagram post.

left: before, right: after
left: before, right: after

I film my videos and take photos for my YouTube channel with my old trustworthy Canon G15 camera (I bought it back in 2013!). Even though it’s only a pocket camera, it can be set manually too. But obviously, it can’t create a soft focus blurred look for the background. But, I’m okay so far since the most important for me now is delivering good contents to you regularly. I can always slowly upgrade my YouTube background later.

After doing all of this for 2 months, I realize now that I never feel as lively before. I always look forward my next schedule and the time where I get to learn to make my contents more attractive. I am 100% aware that I’m no way near perfect. But I enjoy the process I’m going through now. It’s been a long time since I feel like I achieve something, even though it’s a just a negligible achievement compare to other people.

If you did read until this point, I once again want to say thank you. What do you want to see more from this blog? How do you think I can improve the content of this blog? Please leave your advice so that I can become a better person. I’m more than happy to hear your constructive criticism.

See you on my next post!