Thursday, August 18, 2016

Beauty Review: Wonect August Box

Update 3 Sept: Use the code "XEN<3" for 15% off the items reviewed below. Offer ends 8 Sept 2016, Worldwide delivery available!

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

Monday, August 8, 2016

An Email Draft

Been clearing old messages in my email and found this draft from June 2010. I didn't write this nor do I remember where I took the excerpt from but even after so many years, I still find it relevant. Not too late to share...

"Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away that they were meant to be there, to serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson, or to help you figure out who you are or who you want to become. You never know who these people may be- possibly your roommate, neighbour, professor, long lost friend, lover, or even a complete stranger, but when you lock eyes with them, you know at that very moment they will affect your life in some profound way. Sometimes things happen to you that may seem horrible, painful, and unfair at first, but in reflection you find that without overcoming those obstacles you would have never realized your potential, strength, willpower or heart.

Everything happens for a reason. Nothing happens by chance or by means of good luck. Illness, injury, love, lost moments of true greatness, and sheer stupidity all occur to test the limits of your soul. Without these small tests, whatever they may be, life would be like a smoothly paved, straight, flat road to nowhere. It would be safe and comfortable, but dull and utterly pointless.

The people you meet who affect your life, and the success and downfalls you experience, help to create who you are and who you become. Even the bad experiences can be learned from. In fact, they are probably the most poignant and important ones.

If someone hurts you, betrays you or breaks your heart, forgive them. For they have helped you learn about trust and the importance of being cautious to when you open your heart. If someone loves you, love them back unconditionally. Not only because they love you, but because in a way, they are teaching you to love and how to open your heart and eyes to things.

Make every day count… Appreciate every moment and take from those moments everything that you possibly can, for you may never be able to experience it again. Talk to people that you have never talked to before, and actually listen. Let yourself fall in love, break free, and set your sights high. Hold your head up because you have every right to. Tell yourself you are a great individual and believe in yourself, for if you don’t believe in yourself, it will be hard for others to believe in you. You can make of your life anything you wish.

Create your own life and then go out and live it with absolutely no regrets. Most importantly.. if you love someone, tell them. For you never know what tomorrow may have in store. And learn a lesson in life each day you live."

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!