Thursday, August 18, 2016

Beauty Review: Wonect August Box

I've finally tested all the products Wonect sent me for August! Whilst they were sent to me complimentary, all opinions are honest and of my own. 

First up, the skincare products!

I've never heard of morning masks (without the need to pre-cleanse the face) until now! Saborino Morning Masks are meant to be used that way, they are an all-in-one: face wash, skincare (tightening which reduce puffiness) and moisturizer. Just pop one on when you get up or whilst still snoozing in bed. Instructions say to leave on for at least a minute, I had mine on for about 5. So what's in it? For cleansing- apple fruit acid, tightening- peppermint extract, cucumber extract, tea tree leaf oil and grapefruit leaf oil, and for moisturizing- collagen, hyaluronic acid, orange oil, avocado extract and honey.

Saborino masks are folded but do not stick together when taken out. Nothing more annoying than accidentally pulling out 2 sheets and "contaminating" the second when you only need one. The mask looked a little small initially but it does stretch out.

The mask has a light minty-tea tree scent which I found energizing in the morning. On the skin it tingles slightly, however it doesn't irritate my sensitive eyes at all. The scent does linger and it's not as "wet" as other sheet masks which I've used, but then again it's not meant as a moisture mask. Overall, I found it super easy to use, my face was clean and I experienced no irritation at all. Really great for mornings when you need an extra pick-me-up but are short on time, also on long haul flights before landing.

Aside from the latest in sheet masks, I also got to try a top ranking cleansing product- Kose Softymo Honey Whip Cleansing Foam. I've seen it many times at drugstores but I never picked it up as I felt it would not be suitable for my skin (sensitive, acne-prone, and I prefer natural/no parabens). Looking at the pink and adorable packaging, I just assumed it was laden with synthetic and drying ingredients. Oh, how wrong I was!

This foam claims to be a makeup remover and cleanser all in one, you can use it with dry hands and after massaging the foam in, rinse it off thoroughly. Key ingredients include- 5 types of 100% pure honey (lavender, damask rose, lycium, orange blossom and lychee) and glycerin for rich moisturizing properties.

My skin is sensitive-normal, and I can't use cleansers which are too harsh or drying. The best cleansers for me are low-foaming and which provide some moisture. I tested this cleanser in the morning on my bareface, and also with makeup swatches below:

Top to bottom: Eyebrow powder, Maybelline Gel Liner (love this! super black, long-lasting and doesn't smudge), Clarins Kohl Pencil Liner, Clarins BB Cream, RMK Lipgloss and Chanel Joues Contraste Blusher in Rose Tourbillon.

The liquid pumps out as a dense foam, sorta like whipped cream and pillowy to the touch. I massaged it in with ease and rinsed off with cool water. As you can see, it took off the powders without difficulty but the eyeliners still remain as well as a hint of the BB cream. That said, the eyeliner is crazy hard to remove (water-based doesn't work, it only moves with oil) and if you use light makeup, this could function as both your makeup remover and cleanser. On days when I use a compact powder instead of BB cream, I don't even need to double cleanse.

I like that the Softymo Honey Whip Cleansing Foam is free of preservatives(parabens), mineral oils, silicones, ethyl alcohol and colorants. Even the floral honey scent is natural! I would never have guessed that this was a "gentle" cleanser based on it's packaging. Because gentle and natural products are usually housed in more basic/generic packaging. I have been using this for 3 weeks as my morning cleanser and also nightly second cleanse (after cleansing oil). Very gentle, no irritation and soft skin after each wash.

Next up, the 2 makeup products! The first is the Fujiko MayuTint in 01 Chocolat Brown which is very popular (saw it on many Japanese instagrammers page). Whilst my eyebrows aren't sparse, I still need to fill them in, else I end up looking unpolished and incomplete. I can step out of the house without eyeliner but definitely not without filling my brows.

The liquid is thick but spreads well and is not gloopy or runny at all. Instructions say to wipe off any oils on the brow area, paint the tint on (it dries in about 15 minutes) and leave it on for at least 2 hours before peeling off. It has a nice floral scent and the brush is a good size and easy to paint with. Check out my before and after below:

The end result was so much better than I anticipated! At first I was worried it would be too dark, but the colour was definitely natural, even and matched my hair colour well (medium brown). It was so easy to use and my brows lasted for 5 days before completely fading off. I highly recommend this as it saves time not having to do my brows daily, and on top of that I look polished even sans makeup. Love!

Lastly, I also received the RMK Lip Jelly Gloss in 04 Orange Pearl. This lip gloss is one of the top ranked beauty products on @Cosme for the first half of 2016 (read more here).

From their website- "A colour whose tone is so sheer, so pure, it positively bursts with lustrous juiciness! Our newly developed spatula allows you to apply a highly concentrated moisturizing gel in great abundance for full and captivating lips." The applicator is rather unique, it's a silicon foot which is kinda shaped like a spoon. It makes for easy application and I can easily clean it.

I wore it on bare lips and I found the formula to be moisturizing and whilst it was glossy it didn't feel tacky or overly sticky. I liked that it made my lips plump and juicy, and there was micro-glitter (you can see it in the swatch above) but wasn't visible once on unless I stared really closely. I could not detect any scent nor taste in the RMK Lip Jelly Gloss.

Hope you found the reviews helpful, you can purchase these items at most Japanese drugstores or department stores (for RMK) and also online:
Saborino Morning Masks 5 sheets
Kose Softymo Honey Whip Cleansing Foam 200ml
Fujiko MayuTint in 01 Chocolat Brown
RMK Lip Jelly Gloss in 04 Orange Pearl

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

I'm a Starlet!

I am so excited to announce that I have been selected as a Wonect Starlet! A while ago, I applied to be part of their Starlet Program. I've always had an interest in Japanese culture and products, so I was thrilled when I found out. As an Ambassador, I will be reviewing Japanese products courtesy of Wonect for the next 6 months. YAY!

A little background on Wonect (World Connect), they are a Kyoto based company which aims to introduce Japan to the world. The founder, Mr Mizuguchi, believes in the quality of Japanese products (as do I) and hopes that the wisdom and philosophy of the Japanese can play a role in the world to improve the lives of others. 

I for one, truly believe in the quality and efficacy of Japanese products; they are almost always the pioneers in technology and beauty fields.

You can read more about Japanese culture, lifestyle and products at Wonect.Life and shop at Wonect (they accept multiple currencies!).

For the month of August, I will be reviewing the 4 beauty products below:

♥ Eyebrow Tint in 01 Chocolat Brown   
♥ RMK Lip Jelly Gloss in 04 Orange Pearl
♥ Saborino Morning Mask
♥ Kose Softymo Honey Whip Cleansing Foam

Really keen to test out all of them! Will be back with my thoughts soon. Looking forward to the next 6 months of Japanese product reviews.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Review: Lux Luminique Airy Style & Shiseido Fino Premium Touch Hair Mask

My love for beauty and skincare products will probably never die, though these days I don't hoard (as much) and limit my purchases. I did bring over a quarter of a suitcase filled with my must-have skincare products but heavier items like shampoo, bath care and masks, I bought when I arrived in Japan.

My first review will be on haircare! I previously used the LUX Luminique Un-Stress range and really liked it so I decided to try the Airy Style range. I also picked up the SHISEIDO Fino Premium Touch Hair Mask though I've been using Moist Diane Extra Damage Repair Hair Mask for the past 2 years.

The LUX Luminique range features non-silicone shampoos and the Airy Style variant is no different. It contains pomegranate and orchid extract to give hair a lively airy bounce and brilliant shine. 

As for the Shiseido Fino Premium Touch Hair Mask, according to the website- is the perfect hair care product for damaged dry hair by weather changes, UV-ray and color/perm treated hair. Formulated with royal jelly EX to moisturize, PCA (Para-chloroamphetamine) to strengthen, and Lipidure EX to repair, leaving hair nourished and shiny. 

My hair is quite long, thick and heavy- but relatively healthy (or so I'd like to think), using a suitable shampoo is really important for me because if it's too rich, my scalp oils easily and weighs my hair down creating a flat, greasy top. If it's too light or drying- my scalp itches and flakes, not to mention the frizzy and split ends I get. I avoid silicone based shampoo when I can as I find they contribute to my greasy and flat scalp. The Lux Luminique Airy Style shampoo and conditioner work really well for me and I like it very much. It does leave my hair with an airy feel, and the scent is a soft floral which isn't overpowering. I have already purchased the refills!

I use hair masks about 2-3 times weekly, I find that my ends are much softer when I use them alternating with conditioners. If I use them daily, my hair tends to be weighed down. I'm usually not fussed with the brand, as long as the scent isn't too artificial or strong and the formula has to be thick. The Shiseido Fino Premium Touch checks both boxes, a pleasant scent and thick custardy formula. It performs well too, my only gripe is the packaging. Flip tops are much more convenient for me in the shower. Aside from that, its a great and affordable hair mask which keeps my hair soft but not flat.

Finding it so hard to resist when faced with so many choices and pretty packaging! Have to keep reminding myself that I now live here and don't have to buy everything that tickles my fancy at one go. Unless it's a limited edition packaging or collaboration ^_^ Can't wait to try the Kao Essential Rich Damage Care x Alice next!

Monday, July 11, 2016

I'm in Japan!

It's been almost two weeks since I arrived in Japan, everything has so far been good- albeit a little scare at the airport, I was flying with a one way ticket and honestly did not know I could be denied boarding and even entry to Japan. However, the check-in staff at the counter went through my passport and was convinced I wasn't attempting to live in Japan illegally and advised me to just answer Immigrations confidently should I be questioned for not having a return ticket. 

Despite having a really good reason, I was worried whilst waiting to board and I kept reading results for the Google search "No return ticket denied entry to Japan". There were so many people that were denied entry even those from first world countries just because they did not have a return ticket! I was determined not to give the Immigration any reason for doubt so I filled up the Landing Card with my fiancé's number and full address. I pre-amped Y before I boarded that they may call him but he was sure I would be fine.

I was so nervous when I landed and as I handed over my passport to the officer, all I could think was *look confident, look confident, smile but not too much*. She did ask me to note down the person whom I was visiting and also reminded me that my visa was only valid for 90 days before smiling and returning my passport. I was so relieved! I can only assume I was not held for questioning because I have multiple previous Japan visas in my passport and thus am not a high-risk for overstaying.

So that's my experience with trying to enter a country with no return ticket. Reuniting with Y at the airport was just.. I don't know, so many words- happy, ecstatic, speechless, surreal. We were apart for 2 months and before that, 4 months! I could not stop smiling and looking at him as he drove us back. 

Packing up and moving so far away from family and friends is definitely not easy, but when I'm with him I know I've made the right choice. I love this man for so many reasons and count my blessings each day that I have met him.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Packing for Japan

In exactly 2 weeks, I will be relocating to Japan and deciding what to bring was really tough for me (because I have many material loves). Though I have 40kgs of luggage allowance, in the past week I have packed and repacked my 2 luggages so many times, each time removing more items to meet the weight allowance. 
Our bedroom in Japan would only be about half the size of my current bedroom, which is still an okay size, but considering how many things I've amassed over the years.. I knew I couldn't bring everything over. Not in one trip anyway. 

I used to have so many shoes, beauty products, bags, and nail polishes but these days I've limited my hoarding to just beauty products (which I use) and nail polishes. Specifically Chanel polishes.

This is my collection sometime earlier this year, I definitely added a few more colours to the rainbow but didn't manage a picture. I initially decided on bringing half of them over but they were so heavy! In the end I just picked the colours below for this trip.

My little box of polishes which will see me through Summer, Autumn and Winter 2016. Other staples which I am also bringing over are my beloved blushers (all of them!), some face care, sheet masks, most of my red lippies and some BB creams/cushions.

I have no doubt the beauty products took up most of my weight allowance. I didn't pack much body care as I did leave some in Y's apartment the last time I visited. But if I had extra weight, I would definitely bring my favourite body creams along.

I decided against buying new products in Japan (for now) because I don't want to spend time figuring out a new routine for my sensitive skin in the first month and also, what will I do with all my skincare left in Kuala Lumpur? I can make do without most of my clothes but not without my beauty products.

Super excited for the move, sometimes it feels like time is moving so slowly but part of me also feels that the days are counting down so quickly. 2 weeks will go by in a blink, I just know it. 

Bittersweet, but mostly sweet.