new items

Recently Purchased Items – January

new items

I usually buy a lot of items at once so I wanted to share the new additions to my routine!

Quality First Special Set

First I want to share the Quality First Tokubestu Gentei Set. This one was released for the New Years season and is basically a value set the was about $10 (925 yen). It included 7 of the Moisture Quality first face masks and 7 of the Queen’s Premium Mask, a total value of about $13~15 depends on where you buy it.

Quality First Fukubukuro

It’s not the best deal but at least it saves a bit of money and contains some great masks!! A whole 2 weeks worth to help me survive the cold winter months.

Lush Fairly Traded Honey Shampoo

I usually use Lush products at the gym because there is a lush store near my gym. I love their shampoos and have been going down the line trying each one. Next on my list is their Fairly Traded Honey Shampoo! I really liked the smell at the store and can’t wait to use it.

Lush Fairly Traded Honey

Lush New Charity Pot

Again, this product is for when I go to the gym. I tend to use lotion right after taking a shower because I heard it improves the absorption as well as moisturizing effect of lotion! And since I’m not a huge fan of using it at home I tend to use lotion at the gym. I bought the small size to try it out first but I’m pretty sure this won’t disappoint!

Links to purchase

Weleda Skin Food

Review – Weleda Skin Food

Weleda Skin FoodI randomly received this Weleda Skin Food as a gift and wasn’t sure about the brand. It’s the first time I tried a Weleda product and I was pleasantly surprised with the performance. This lotion is made with pansy, calendula and rosemary extracts. It’s also all natural which is great for anyone who is concerned with artificial ingredients. Another huge plus is it’s made without animal testing! All around the product had me interested after I researched it a bit.

My Experience

This lotion has a very dense texture and to be honest I wasn’t that happy with my first trial. I hated the texture and I am not a fan of the strong citrus smell. BUT after trying it out a few times it really began to grow on me. The fact that you can use this lotion all over your body is great as well. Their manufacturer website says the top uses are:

  • Dry hands, elbows & feet
  • Chapped lips
  • Cuticle care
  • Soothe scratches
  • Highlight cheekbones
  • Soothe skin irritations
  • Treat split ends
  • Brings world peace (just kidding)

Well… Surprisingly for the first 6 items I was extremely happy with the results. It definitely helps with dry skin during the winter (since I started using it my skin is so much better!). I believe it’s a great on the go lotion as well because of it’s versatility, I mean you can even use it as chapstick. I have yet to try the split ends and world peace part but… maybe on my second bottle 🙂

That being said, I’m still not a huge fan of the smell. I’m planning to try a few more products to see if the smell is different but regardless I would definitely buy this lotion again and have already added it to my favs list. I think it’s also a great gift if you’re not sure what to buy someone because it can work for both male and females.

Weleda Skin Food

Where to Buy

You can buy this lotion from Amazon or directly from their online store!

Additional Products

Ingredients

Water (aqua), lanolin, peanut (Arachis hypogaea) oil, sweet almond (Prunus dulcis) oil, alcohol, beeswax (Cera flava), glyceryl linoleate, fragrance (parfum – natural essential oils), hydrolyzed beeswax, pansy (Viola tricolor) extract, matricaria (Chamomilla recutita) extract, calendula (Calendula officinalis) extract and cholesterol.

Egg Cream Mask Hydration

This Month’s Lineup – January 2017

Ugh, I can’t believe it’s already a new year! I’m hoping for a good year for my skin especially since so far the winter in Japan is killing it. Anyways, I have added a few new products to my list but for the most part it’s staying stable!

Step 1: Oil Based Cleanser – Shiseido Aqual Label Deep Clear Oil Cleansing

Shiseido Aqualabel Oil Cleanser

Step 2: Water Based Cleanser – Kiehl’s Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash

Kiehl's Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash

Review

Purchase @ Kiehls

Step 3: Exfoliation – FAB Skin Rescue Purifying Mask with Red Clay

FAB Purifying Mask with Red Clay

Review

Purchase @ Sephora

Purchase @ FAB


 Step 4: Toner – Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Toner

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Toner

It’s finally time to say good bye to my Belif Problem Solution toner… but I definitely plan to buy it again in the near future.

Purchase @ Kiehl’s

Step 5: Essence – Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Essence Treatment

This is also a sad good bye. I was really enjoying using the SANA Natural Resource Essence Milk but for now will be moving to my sample from Kiehl’s for the remainder of the month!

Purchase @ Kiehl’s

Step 6: Serums, Boosters and Ampoules – Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate & SANA HoneyShea all in one Serum

Shiseido Ultimune

I’ll be using these two depending on the condition of my skin! In general the Shiseido Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate for the night and the SANA Honey Shea Serum when I need a little boost of moisturizer.

Purchase Shiseido Ultimune @ Sephora

Step 7: Sheet Masks

Egg Cream Mask Hydration

Review

Purchase @ Sephora (might be sold out)

Purchase @ Amazon

Lululun Plus Yuzu

Review

Step 8: Eye Cream – Kiehl’s Avocado Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado

Kiehl's Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado

Purchase @ Kiehl’s

Step 9: Moisturizer – Shiseido Ibuki Beauty Sleeping Mask

Shiseido Ibuki

Purchase @ Sephora
Purchase @ Amazon

Step 10: Sunscreen – Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense SPF 50+

Kiehl's Super Fluid UV Defense 50+

Purchase @ Kiehl’s 

Lululun Plus Yuzu

Review – Lululun Plus Yuzu Sheet Mask

Lululun Plus Yuzu Sheet MaskThis is the 4th sheet mask I’ve tried from the Lululun Plus line and so far its probably my favorite! Lululun Plus’ Yuzu Sheet Mask is made from a Yuzu Oil Blend originating in Kochi, Japan (they are famous for Yuzu). Yuzu is a lemon like fruit but isn’t quite as sour and at least to me tastes much better! This mask is especially great for the winter season as it will not only moisturize your face but also give it that extra brightness during the gloomy winter season.

My Experience

After trying the Lemongrass Sheet mask I kind of believed the Yuzu Sheet mask would be just as disappointing. But luckily it wasn’t and the thing that most surprised me was the smell. It wasn’t overwhelmingly YUZU smell but just a subtle amount that was very relaxing. The size of the mask doesn’t differ from the other sheet masks in the Lululun Plus series and is good for smaller faces.

Another thing I would like to point out is unlike the Rose and Lemon Grass sheet mask, the Yuzu Sheet Mask was surprisingly calming for my skin. I didn’t feel any irritation and my skin looks refreshed and brighter after the 15~20 min of using. I think it’s a great gift to bring back to skin care addicts but also to use for yourself. I would definitely buy this mask again in the future and hope that they will begin selling it in the States!

lululun plus yuzu sheet mask

Where to Buy

At this point, the Lululun Plus Series, including the Yuzu Sheet mask can only be found in Japan. They can be found in major goods stores like Tokyuu Hands and Loft but more recently they are available at everyday drug stores as well (though it depends on the store). If you also have an Amazon account in Japan, you will be able to find it there too! For around 200 yen/mask it’s affordable for a weekly mask.

lululun plus yuzu sheet mask backIngredients

Water, Glycerin, Propanediol, Yuzu Essential Oil, Yuzu Extract,  Sasa kurilensis water, Asian Ginseng Root Extract, Yomogi Extract, LITHOSPERMUM ERYTHRORHIZON ROOT EXTRACT, Thymus vulgaris oil, Marjoram leaf oil, Mandarin Orange Oil, Orange Peel Oil, Rosemary Extract, Sorbitol, POLYGLYCERYL-10 EICOSANEDIOATE/TETRADECANEDIOATE , GLYCERIN, Carbomer, Xanthane Gum, Hydroxide K, EDTA-2NA, EG-40 hydrogenated castor oil, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, BG*

*additives of plant extracts are included

note: translation of ingredients may be inaccurate

水、グリセリン、プロパンジオール、ユズ果皮油、ユズ果実エキス、チシマザサ水、オタネニンジン根エキス、ヨモギ葉エキス、ムラサキ根エキス、タチジャコウソウ油、マヨラナ葉油、マンダリンオレンジ果皮油、オレンジ果皮油、ローズマリー葉油、ソルビトール、(エイコサン二酸/テトラデカン二酸)ポリグリセリル-10、カルボマー、キサンタンガム、水酸化K、EDTA-2Na、PEG-40水添ヒマシ油、フェノキシエタノール、メチルパラベン、BG*
*植物エキス類の添加物として含まれます。

Egg Cream Mask Hydration

Review – Too Cool for School Egg Cream Mask Hydration

Egg Cream Mask HydrationI found this Too Cool for School Egg Cream Mask at Sephora and decided to try it out! I was surprised that shortly after (and still for the most part) it was sold out. I bought it as a 1/2 dozen set with two other types that I plan to review as well. This particular hydration one is made with Coconut Extract and Egg Extract. On the package it says this mask is used to revive and nourish rough skin and give moisture and radiance.

My Experience

Right after opening this egg cream mask I was surprised at how much moisturizer was contained within the sheet mask. After reading a few reviews I can see why some people may choose to used it twice… it definitely has enough for two times!  But that’s a bit too much for me. Anyways, considering the amount of Egg Cream moisturizer contained within I was a bit worried it would irritate to skin. In general I’m not a huge fan of eggs and this egg cream definitely feels like egg cream. It’s gooey and kindy of slimy but luckily it doesn’t smell anything like eggs. It’s also a great size for small faces!

When I put the mask on, I had not skin irritation or uncomfortableness. The egg cream mask actually felt really refreshing and if kept cool I think it would be a great weekly sheet mask during the summer months. The moisturizing aspect of it was also a lot better than the daily sheet masks from Lululun or Quality First. It’s good enough to be used alone without worrying about following up with a moisturizer cream. I would definitely buy and use this sheet mask again! The only down side is… It’s kind of expensive.

Egg Cream Mask

Where to Buy

I bought my set from Sephora, but at the moment it’s out of stock due to it’s popularity. If you get so lucky to find it when it’s in stock then it’s definitely worth trying.

Sephora – Too Cool For School Egg Cream Sheet Mask

However, if you’re more of an Amazon shopper they also have it available on Amazon for a cheaper price. The one thing I noticed with Amazon is the seller seems to not send the right quantity for some people so be careful!

Egg Cream MaskIngredients

Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, PEG-32, Cyclopentasiloxane, Cyclohexasiloxane, Niacinamide, Glycereth-26, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dimethicone, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Polysorbate 60, Cetearyl Alcohol, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Arginine, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Water, Albumen Extract, Egg Yolk Extract/Extrait de jaune d’oeuf, Myrciaria Dubia Fruit Extract, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Xanthan Gum, Dextrin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Phenoxyethanol, Panthenol, Sodium Polyacrylate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Linoleic Acid, Ceramide NP, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance, Coconut Extract, Niacinamide, Egg White Extract, Egg Yolk Extract

*Ingredient list taken from Sephora Website

 

Eat Pretty

Book Review – Eat Pretty: Nutrition for Beauty, Inside and Out

Eat Pretty: Nutrition for Beauty, Inside and Out 

by Jolene Hart

Eat Pretty First, I would like to go over the good points of Jolene Hart’s Eat Pretty: Nutrition for Beauty, Inside and Out. This book is an excellent resource for foods and the kinds of nutrition and benefits they provide to our bodies. It also includes the specific seasons where fruits and vegetables are ripest and recipes that will help even the worst of cooks (like myself) easily create nutritious meals.

The book is split into three parts where the first, explaining the important of the book and Hart’s method, can basically be skipped. The second part is more important and explains the points I mentioned above (foods and recipes with their nutrition) while the third goes into how the gut and digestion affect the body as a whole. The third portion especially focuses on how to create a healthy gut with food combinations and fermentation and how to use your diet to balance your hormones. It’s short but has a lot of interesting topics to further explore (outside of the book).

Aside from the fact it’s a good resource… I found the writing to be a little irritating. It does well at making you feel like you’re ugly if you don’t eat according to Hart’s method. If you eat sugar, you’re “un-pretty”, if you drink coffee you’re “un-pretty”, if you don’t sleep you’re “un-pretty”!!! To me it’s not like the food listed in the book are impossible to eat, but it’s very limited and may put more pressure and stress following it then just eating a nutritious diet that is made up from the US Dietary Guidelines. To be honest, I was happy when I finished the book because I didn’t have to feel so bad about eating un-pretty foods!

The book provides a great introduction for anyone that has limited knowledge in nutrition but it’s not the best information to ‘eat pretty’. I would recommend taking a nutrition course or checking a website like choosemyplate.gov where there is an abundance of free information that is very straightforward. If you need that extra self-help toned information then this book can be a little better. But… I would wait until it’s on sale before buying it!

Quotes from the book:

hungry girl
“Lack of sleep also makes it harder for you to make smart decision, so you’re more likely to impulsively grab a candy bar from the vending machine without thinking about the Eat Pretty foods you brought from home. It’s not your fault; your brain made you do it!” p. 187
“An Overload of Beauty Betrayers like sugar, processed foods, and alcohol can diminish the number of dopamine (pleasure) receptors in your brain, so by eating them regularly you’re negatively altering your brain function” p. 196

 

Eat Pretty: Nutrition for Beauty, Inside and Out and other books by Jolene Hart

Review – Lululun Plus Lemon Grass Sheet Mask

Lululun Plus Lemon Grass

Lululun Plus’ Lemon Grass Sheet Mask is made from a formulation of Indian Lemon Grass essential oil. Lemon Grass has been used for thousands of years as an essential health ingredient in India. This sheet mask has a refreshing but sweet scent that adds spirit courage to face challenges to the heart. Lemon Grass Extract gives a natural bright luster to the skin.

translated from back of package

My Experience

The description of Lululun Plus’ Lemon Grass Sheet Mask sounds amazing but it was actually quite horrible in my experience. First, the smell of the lemon grass sheet mask is overwhelming and almost unbearable! It might be good for someone who loves the smell of lemons or lemon grass but for me it was almost too much to keep on for the full 10 minutes.

In addition to the smell, the lemon grass sheet mask ended up burning my upper lip a bit. It was pretty painful in the upper lip are and I ended up cutting off that portion after about 5 minutes. The mask was moisturizing but the experience to get there wasn’t worth it for me… I would definitely stick with Lululun’s standard masks over this one any day! The best thing about this series of sheet masks is the size… For small faces it’s not overwhelmingly big.

Lululun Plus Lemon Grass

Where to Buy

The Lululun Plus Sheet Mask collection is only available in Japan at this point. If you have a chance to be in Japan (lucky you since the yen is so cheap!) then you can pick up these masks at Loft or Tokyu Hands Zakka stores. They are also available on Japan’s Amazon or directly from Lululun.

Lululun Plus Lemon GrassIngredients

Water, Glycerin, Propanediol, Xylitol, Lemon Grass Oil, Lemon Grass Extract, Lactobacillus/Pear Juice Ferment Filtrate, Wild Thyme Extract, Artichoke Leaf Extract, Diglycerol, Sorbitol, Almond Oil, Xanthane Gum, Carbomer, Hydroxide K, EDTA 2Na, Tocopherol, Polysorbate 60, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, BG*

*additive of plant extracts are included

note: translation of ingredients may be inaccurate

水、グリセリン、プロパンジオール、キシリトール、レモングラス油、レモングラス葉/茎エキス、乳酸桿菌/セイヨウナシ果汁発酵液、ワイルドタイムエキス、アーチチョーク葉エキス、ジグリセリン、ソルビトール、アーモンド油、キサンタンガム、カルボマー、水酸化K、EDTA-2Na、トコフェロール、ポリソルベート60、フェノキシエタノール、メチルパラベン、BG*
*植物エキス類の添加物として含まれます。 (from Lululun Plus Website)