Saturday, February 25, 2017

Current Bathroom Products

Almost halfway through my current haircare and bodycare, they are all yellow and contain honey as an ingredient. I gravitate towards all honey products- skincare, lipcare, bath products, scents.. and yes, I also love eating honey. My favourite is Acacia honey, I like the light floral taste and it tastes so good in warm milk.

I picked up the Ahalo Butter Honey Milk Body Wash because 1) I like using warm, milky, slightly sweet scents in Winter, and 2) Honey and Milk are known to be moisturizing ingredients and I sure do need a boost of that in the colder months. I really liked the scent and one pump is all I need for a wash but unfortunately it wasn't as moisturizing as I had hoped. My forearms are always left feeling a littleeee bit tight after each shower but nothing a little moisturizer can't fix. Would be better for other seasons I suppose.

At one point I was drawn to Alice everything, I even picked up a BB cushion in her silhouette, and when I saw this Kao Essential Rich Damage Care set with a shampoo and conditioner, I just grabbed it without thinking or even reading the ingredients. I just figured Rich Damage Care would be great for Winter and great for my long hair. Turns out this range is formulated with highly concentrated Honey, Royal Jelly Extract and Protein. It has a light fruity floral scent which is alright and performance wise- it didn't weigh my hair down nor made it greasy but I still prefer the Lux Luminique range. Somehow my hair feels more "airy" using that and I really like it.

Am also using the Lebel IAU Hair Mask which I reviewed earlier but is not pictured. No repurchases from this season's picks and you can read about my previous bathroom products here

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Recipe: Easy Yee Sang

Yee Sang or also known as Yu Sang, Yu Sheng, I've made this more than 5 times since I prepared it for the Lunar New Year, albeit with lesser ingredients. It's so easy and healthy too, there are plenty of recipes online but mine is with what I could find in my local supermarket in Japan.

Shredded daikon (white radish)
Shredded kyuri (cucumber)
Shredded ninjin (carrot)
Kombu (sea kelp)
Beni shouga (pickled shredded ginger)
Crushed peanuts
Sesame seeds
Wanton skin (cut into 1x1cm and fried)
Raw fish of your choice

Japanese ume dressing (I picked the zero oil version)

1. Assemble shredded vegetables, raw fish and condiments as you wish. 
2. Mix the ume dressing with a few squirts of honey to sweeten and thicken the sauce.
3. Pour sauce over the Yee Sang and toss!

Super easy and tasty! I sometimes make it with just daikon, carrot, beni shouga, peanuts, sesame seeds and the sauce. Just had it for dinner yesterday and I can't get enough of it just yet.


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentine's Day in Japan

I've shared this on my Instagram post and I'll share it again; I believe that Love should be expressed whenever possible to all whom we hold dear- family, partner, and friends, not just today.

In Japan, Valentine's Day seems to be all about the guys- they get the chocolates whilst the girls wait until March 14 (a month later) to see if the guy reciprocates. In mid-January I had already started to see displays of different chocolates in-stores, they were all packaged so beautifully and they had different price-ranges so you could definitely find something for the guy(s) in your life or even yourself.

I say "guys" because in Japan, it is common to give out giri-choco which is chocolate which has no romantic feelings attached, more like a thank you, and given to all or most guys which you know or work with. Honmei-choco is usually handmade (with love) and given to a lover or spouse. 

This year, I bought giri-choco for Y*'s boss and also workmate. I had a hard time picking from the vast selection and everything was packaged so nicely. In the end, I went with a sake assortment of chocolates for his boss and a box of cat shaped chocolates for his co-worker. It was so cute! 

The weeks leading up Valentine's Day, I didn't buy anymore chocolates nor did I mention anything about it, but little did Y* know I had already bought the ingredients to make him a little something. To throw him off, I pretended to browse the chocolate aisle and then never picked anything up. 

On the morning itself, Y* admitted that he was delighted when he saw me reach into the *hidden spot* to retrieve his box of sweets in the morning. He said he would've been a little upset if I had not given him anything, seeing that I did get his boss and co-workers gifts. How could I forget you, my love! 

Dinner was Spaghetti Bolognese with the best garlic bread I've made (a friend shared her recipe with me), followed by Nutella & toasted marshmallow on toast. 

This is our first of many Valentine's Day together, last year whilst we were still doing long distance, I sent him a box of goodies. 

Thank you for being so easy to love, my forever Valentine.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Review: Moist, Diane Oil in Body Milk (Chardonnay)

The first product I tried from this brand was the Extra Damage Repair Hair Mask which I loved and subsequently got my sister hooked onto it too. It was the best drugstore hair mask I used when I was living in Kuala Lumpur, lovely scent and left my long hair soft but not weighed down. Unfortunately they only carried the haircare line so I made it a point to check out their bodycare products when I travelled to Japan.

Now that I live in Japan, I'm spoilt for choice and have yet to repurchase that much loved Hair Mask! Mainly because there are so many choices here, and there are some really affordable options which I plan on checking out. I did however get my hands on some of the Moist, Diane bodycare products- one of which is the Oil in Body Milk, Chardonnay scented.

The formula contains a rich combination of 14 skin-friendly botanical oils with hydrating beauty ingredients. These include Virgin Argan Oil, Virgin Plum Oil, Rose Hip Oil, Marula Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Baobab Oil, Shea Butter, Rose Honey, Acerola Extract and Pearl Protein Extract amongst other beneficial oils. No artifical colouring, alcohol, silicon or animal-derivatives in here.

Despite the scent being named Chardonnay, it doesn't smell anything like wine, but more of a light muscat which I adore! It's so pleasing and soft. Even Y* comments how nice the fragrance is whenever I use it. I have been using this since last winter (I have another body lotion for warmer months) and am almost done. It's kept in the bathroom so I don't forget to slap some on after I take a bath.

What I like:
Love love love the scent! Also the light texture and how it absorbs well in the cooler and colder months. Moisturizes without any sticky or tacky feeling plus contains lots of great oils and ingredients. The sturdy textured plastic bottle allows me to keep it in the bathroom without worrying about it slipping when wet.

What I don't like:
I can't use this in summer at all, it just makes my skin sticky and slimy, but could just be me. The brand is a little iffy, the body milk is made in Japan but the shower oil is made in Vietnam. I feel like I have to check everytime before I buy from them now. It is also a little hard to find in drugstores, I got mine whilst visiting Hakata (Fukuoka) and have yet to see any whenever I pop by my local drugstore or even when I visit Tokyo. However, they do have links to online stores like Rakuten or Amazon Japan. 

A little less than ¥1,000 for 250ml

Yes! When I get through my large box of bodycare products...

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Wonect Beauty Review: Bifesta Eye Makeup Remover

This product marks the final review in my Wonect Starlet journey, I would like to say thank you to the Wonect Team for giving me this opportunity. I have discovered many new products in the past few months, and have enjoyed receiving the notes which come with each month's package. It has been a great experience for me. Once again, thank you Roger and Harumi for your support!

So let's get to it! The Bifesta Eye Makeup Remover comes in a 145ml sturdy bottle and has been ranked number 1 in Cosme's Best Cosmetics list in the past.

It's a bi-phase eye makeup remover, which means there's a layer of oil and water which you have to shake before using. I find that bi-phase removers work so much better compared to water-based ones especially if you use waterproof or long-lasting eye makeup. I have been using bi-phase removers for many years as it takes off my eye makeup easier and faster.

After I removed the wrapper, I realized that the water part isn't actually blue but also clear like the oil part, but you can still see where they meet. The 2 layers work together to remove eye makeup quickly without rubbing or tugging- the water-based layer contains skin lotion-derived cleansing ingredients and the oil-based emollient layer sort of binds and slides off waterproof mascara and eyeliner. These ingredients include Vitamin B and E derivatives, Hyaluronic Acid, and are gentle on the eye area and eyelashes, protecting them and keeping the skin moisturized. The formula is also low-irritant, fragrance-free, colorant-free and preservative-free. 

Here's how it looks when shaken- a cloudy mixture which you then pour out onto a cotton pad. The mouth is the perfect size, doesn't dispense too much nor too little when you tilt the bottle. I usually use my eye makeup remover to remove my lipstick as well, so I have included swatches of a normal lipstick as well as a non-transfer matte liquid lipstick below.

Top to bottom- Maybelline Lasting Drama Gel Liner (it is waterproof, smudge-proof and really hard to remove), a matte eyeshadow, a glittery eyeshadow, lipstick and a matte non-transfer liquid lipstick. 

Used one cotton pad with a few drops of the remover, the results above are with just one swipe! Everything came off so easily without any tugging on the skin, which is very important as the eye area is so thin and delicate.

All clean! Except for a little staining left behind by the liquid lipstick which nothing takes off anyway. If you're using it on your lips just remember not to lick them before giving them a wash. I did not detect any scent, and when used on my eyes it did not cloud my vision nor cause any stinging or irritation. I also used it on waterproof mascara and it took that off very easily. For stubborn and reallllly long-lasting makeup, just leave the soaked cotton pad on for about 5-10 seconds before swiping. 

All in, one of the best eye (and lip) makeup removers that I've tried and which performs just as well as my favourite Clarins Eye Makeup Remover! Would highly recommend!