Sorry about the photos for my entries – I will have to find a place to re-upload them elsewhere over the next few weeks (Since the server no longer allows third party hosting). If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to leave a comment.
I HAVE REMOVED THE PHOTOS UNTIL I HAVE TIME TO REUPLOAD THEM
I actually have so many of the Deciem’s “The Ordinary” Products to review. I purchased 3 at first, then each time I stopped by Myers, I picked up a product. I checked back the other day and my favourites have already sold out. I couldn’t resist purchasing when I saw the price list.
First use: The first time I used this was at night. I applied the Dr.G Spot Aroma Toner (a BHA) then followed by the Lactic Acid 10% +HA 2% followed by the Vitamin C Suspension +HA Spheres 2%.
I woke up with my skin looking bright and the texture of my skin was improved and looked a lot smoother. Around midday I found that there was a speck of peeling skin on my nose (literally a speck the size of 3 pores) and on a previous breakout that healed but had dead skin on top. The skin around it still looked plump from moisturising. I was surprised since I had signs of a cold coming on (and normally my skin would dry up when I do).
Second use: I decided to use this differently from the first night. I used my Naturie Skin Conditioner followed by the Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2%, and ending with a mix of Oshima Tsubaki Oil and Country and Stream Golden Moisturizer.
Other uses: The only time my skin didn’t look amazing (keep in mind I was trying this out in Autumn) was when I didn’t follow up with a hydrating enough moisturiser after it. Overall, this product worked well with others, particularly ones with vitamin c.
Directions: Apply once per day, ideally in the PM. Dilute with other treatments to reduce strength until skin develops tolerance.
Weight: 30 ml
Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Lactic Acid, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Potassium Citrate, Arginine, Triethanolamine, Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Tasmannia Lanceolata Fruit/leaf Extract, Acacia Senegal Gum, Xanthan Gum, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, PPG-26-Buteth-26, Ethyl 2,2-Dimethylhydrocinnamal, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Ethylhexylglycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol
- Easily available in Australia (Myers)
- Can be used daily
- Glass bottle with a dropper
- Did not make my skin irritated and red
- Skin can be a little flaky/look dry the next day
- The smell (doesn’t bother me but my boyfriend hates it)
- AHA can cause sun sensitivity
Last words: Recommended if you need to improve/resurface you skin texture. Even at 10% it is mild enough to use everyday, but I find that it is best to use a moisturiser (or even the Vitamin C Suspension +HA Spheres 2%) then follow up with face oil. My skin didn’t need to develop a tolerance to it – the only time I felt a tingle was after I used a peeling mask which went away immediately.
I actually like this product, but I don’t use it that often, since my boyfriend hates the scent of this product (even though there is no added fragrance) and he rarely complains about any products that I put on my face.
I will try to finish this up before mid-winter and in the future I will stick to using this in Spring & Summer on the weekend (or when I won’t be exposed to the sun often), since my combination skin will probably appreciate it more. Make sure the product is fully absorbed or it can make the next skincare layer roll off. If you are going into the sun a lot, make sure to use SPF since it is an AHA product.
I was never interested in tea-tree products since I was turned off by the smell as a teenager. My boyfriend was in Hong Kong on a trip and had asked his friend’s girlfriends what they use on their skin, and they recommended this to him. He picked up 4 packets for me at Sasa (I didn’t request this, but I appreciate the thought) and I didn’t use it until a month later.
(Dr.G is the same as Gowoonsesang)
First use: I used it for a week and I wasn’t particularly impressed. All I felt was a tingle and nothing else. There were no significant changes after finishing a 10 ml bottle.
Second use: I spent a month using lime to wash my face 3 times a week at night. My skin collagen improved and I found that alot of dead skin was removed, but I still had the small bumps on my skin. I stopped using lime to wash my face, and the next night I applied the A Clear Spot Aroma Toner followed by the Country & Stream Golden Moisturiser mixed with Oshima Tsubaki Oil. I was surprised to see dirt on my cotton pad, since I always double cleanse, and realised it was from my skin.
The next morning the bumps decreased and the areas with bumps were less obvious after applying makeup.
Other uses: It took me awhile to realise it was working for my skin, and found that my cotton pad looked dirty after swiping it on my skin, which didn’t happen the first time I used it. I have continued using this every second day, and now there is no longer any “dirt” on my cotton pad after swiping gently.
Colloidal patch: These are the same regardless of what brand you use. it comes in a 11mm and 13.5mm size. They are clear and adhere to your skin. I always apply this when I have extracted a pimple (people always go on about not popping, but sometimes when I used lemon to wash my face they would bleed, so I would extract the remaining pus/head gently by wrapping my fingers with tissue if I did not have an extraction tool on hand) and tapping on some of the A Clear Toner with cotton tip or cotton pad, then applying it on top. Leave this on for 8-12 hours.
Price: $56 HKD (You shOuld be able to find this online for less than $8 AUD)
Weight: 10 ml (the toner also comes in 50ml and 170 ml, but is not available in a kit) and 3 packets of colloidal patches (12 pieces each packet)
Ingredients: Acrylates copolymer, Vinyl Caprolactum/VP/Dimethylaminoethyl, Salicylic Acid, Tea Tree Leaf Oil, Butylene Glycol, Grape seed extract, PVP, Allantoin, Polysorbate 80, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium hyaluronate, Phytophingosine, Methylparaben (I was too lazy to type out the scientific name for grape seed and tea tree )
- English ingredient listing
- Travel friendly
- none (well, for me anyway)
- Tea tree scent (if you don’t like strong smelling products)
- A bit harder to find and pricier in Australia
Last words: If you have small bumps/clogged pores on your face like I do, this will definitely help your skin to absorb the next step in your skin care, and will gently exfoliate your skin. I do not use this all over my face – I only apply this to areas with a lot of little bumps like the sides of my cheeks and sides of my forehead, so I only use half a cotton pad and about 6-8 drops, so this 10ml toner lasts forever for me. I follow up (after a minute) by using a toner/skin like Country & Stream Natural Honey Lotion or whatever I have on hand and a serum/treament and moisturiser.
For cystic acne, it does not calm it down as easily unless you apply it on the spot as soon as you see it.
This is probably my favourite product containing Tea Tree Oil or Salicylic Acid that I have used to date. I will be purchasing the full size (170ml) and the mini kit again after I finish my third 10ml bottle. I have used this with Deciem’s The Ordinary skincare, which I will publish in a month or so. This product is a little pricier than COSRX, but I have yet to try their AHA/BHA lines.
For years I have only been using the Lelan Vital eyebrow pencil (which is the most natural eyebrow product I have ever tried and just fills it in so softly I hardly needed to blend), but my best friend was making an order and asked if I wanted to order something as well, so I ordered the Brow Pencil and the 3 lip colours from Colorpop.
Colour: Black ‘N Brown
- Good colour payoff
- Does not drag on your skin
- Easy to blend (I like the spool)
- Long lasting
- White packaging makes this a dream to find amongst my makeup stash/case
- Cannot unwind the product – once it goes up it won’t come down
- the texture is soft so it is easily broken if you wind it up too much
- I go through this eyebrow pencil faster than most other pencils
Last words: If you do intend to purchase and want to save (and only want a few products), it is better to order with a friend so that if you spend over $30 USD you receive free shipping – sometimes it is on for a limited period, so keep checking back on their website if it isn’t available. Since I have black hair, I probably should have purchased the Jet set black, but it still worked quite well since I blended it out and I don’t do instagram brows (since I don’t have the skill to do it).
The only thing I need to be careful of is when I draw in my eyebrows – so I use a very light hand since it is easy to make my brows look drawn on with this pencil, especially when applied it in dim lighting. I do like this product and I would recommend this to girls who want or need higher payoff for their brow products, but that being said, it is still easy to tone this product down.
I was on my way to a job when I realised I had no powder to set my makeup in my bag. I woke up a bit later than usual and forgot to set my makeup, so I stopped by The Face Shop to pick a new one up. Honestly, most things are too pricey compared to online shopping, and since I am trying to save money (and I also didn’t need a new powder yet) I chose one that would do minimal damage on my finances as much as possible and yet hold up enough to get me through until my break where I could touch up.
I only purchased it at the time because the sales assistant was not at all pushy, and I was able to browse comfortably before my shift began.
First Use: It instantly mattified my skin without changing my skin tone. On my break I went to check my makeup and found that I didn’t look too oily, and touched up my makeup around my T-zone. My foundation was still in place (I was using the Givenchy Matissime) and applying an excess amount did no exaggerate any dry patches on my skin.
Second Use: I used this the next day, but as a touch up on my T-zone rather than to set it, and I found that it looked better than using it alone to set my makeup since it does not blur imperfections that well, but holds everything in place and smoothing out the look of my pores.
Other uses: After using it for awhile, I realised that it required slightly more effort to blend than the Givenchy Prisme Libre, (so go as light as possible) since it isn’t as finely milled.
- Lightweight, no fuss packaging (travel friendly)
- Does not break me out
- Does not cake
- Suitable for all skin tones (transluscent) – but make sure to blend well
- Even if I apply concealor on top of it, it does not cake up (just blend it out by tapping)
- Collecting points on your membership card
- Works well with other products
- Contains talc, silica (personally doesn’t bother me, but may be a problem for others)
- I could smell a stronger fragrance than most powders I have used (the scent isn’t at all bad)
- No mirror
Repurchase: Yes (but after trying out other products)
Last Words: I don’t like it as much as the Givenchy Prisme Libre in Mousseline Pastel, but still has a pore blurring effect which I always need (even in the middle of winter), but I can’t really complain since the product is so cheap.
This applies better with a brush, in my opinion, since it applies like you rubbed flour all over your face if you don’t blend well with the puff.
I have not yet tried the popular Innisfree version yet, along with the Aritaum one, which I would like to compare with in the future.
Once again I have neglected posting for awhile. I have some foundation reviews coming up, but it’s been a busy few months for me so it’s been difficult to test out foundations as much as I would like (and I was desperate to find ones that actually work with my skin when I need to do my makeup at lightning speed.).
When I spotted this in Muji early last year, and when I was on the lookout for a new one when I finished my Swisse oil cleanser, I took a look at the ingredients then immediately purchased it. There was no mineral oil and there wasn’t anything that I haven’t seen in other skincare that I’ve used so far. (I put mild oil cleansing in brackets in the title, since that is what it says in katakana.)
First impression: The first time I bought this, I bought the smaller version to try it out. I first used this when I came back home after shopping (with very light makeup – base, bb cream, eyebrows) and was surprised when it emulsified. The shade is a pale yellow and is a runnier consistency than the shiseido perfect oil cleanser that I used at my friend’s home in Japan.
Other uses: I have not stopped using this oil cleanser since I first purchased it (aside from using the occasional 1 use samples I received from other brands). Sometimes I am exhausted from work and I need to just get into bed as soon as possible if the turnaround time for my next job is pretty close.
This removes makeup perfectly. As long as I pour out enough, (approximately 3-4 pumps for gel liner and foundation) it will also do a great job of removing very heavy eye and lip makeup. I just follow up with a foam/powder/cream cleanser after rinsing off the oil cleanser.
The only time I had trouble removing lip makeup was when it was heavily stained by a lip lacquer from Touch In Sol, which made my lips dry, and only removed the dark pigment but not the residue. It took 2 days for it to finally come off.
Ingredients: HYDROGENATED POLYISOBUTENE, PEF-7, COCOATE ETHYL OLEATE, SORBITAN OLEATE, OLEA EUROPAEA (OLIVE) FRUIT OIL, SIMMONDSIA CHINENSIS (JOJOBA) SEED OIL, HELIANTHUS ANNUUS (HYBRID SUNFLOWER) OIL, DIPROPYLENE GLYCOL, CITRUS AURANTIUM DULCIS(ORANGE) FLOWER WATER, WATER, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, TOCOPHEROL, PRUNUS ARMENIACA (APRICOT JUICE) GLYCERIN, PROPYLPARABEN, BUTYLPARABEN
(excuse the capital letters – I was lazy when I started typing and couldn’t be bothered to redo it)
- Does not break me out
- Available in 2 sizes
- Packaging comes in a sturdy pump bottle with measurements on the side showing how many mls you’ve been through
- None at all – unless you are completely against parabens
Last words: Highly recommended, and at the top of my repurchase list in terms of value for money, and if used daily, can last about 3 months (possibly longer if you don’t wear as heavy makeup as I do). Great on the pocket and effective – I don’t like removing eye and lip makeup separately with eye/lip makeup removers since I find them irritating or drying.
The reason I purchased this version online because I was heading to Japan in Autumn last year, which I thought would be cold and that my face would need all the help it could get. I was wrong. I threw away the box since I assumed that I wouldn’t review this, but seeing as how popular my post is on their Flawless Top Coat Foundation, I assume that most people would be curious as to how this compares and since I spoke about it in the same post.
First Use: The first time I used this foundation was when I was in Japan last year in October. I found the shade a bit light, but workable. This colour runs more neutral/pink than the Touch In Sol Flawless Top Coat, (which dried out and so I couldn’t swatch both shades side by side to show a comparison photo) so I used my beloved Givenchy Teint Couture Balm SPF 15 PA ++ for comparison. The Touch in Sol Flawless skin top coat is about 2-3 shades deeper than the Givenchy one though depending on how much it oxidises on your skin.
The weather was surprisingly hot in Kumamoto, Japan at the time – 28 degrees celcius on average. It was fine to use in the day time since I adjusted the colour with a powder slightly deeper than the foundation and I touched up with concealor most of the time. At the time I mixed the Integrate Mineral Foundation shade 2 with Ettusais BB Mineral Powder Shade 1 to make it more workable for my skin.
Other Uses: The frustrating thing about this foundation is that it moves too easily around the face and feels like it almost never sets. It does not work with any silicone primers at all and ends up caking after about 4 hours.
Lasting Power for a LONG night out: Do not wear this out at night. I highly advise against it. Even though I powdered through the night and my face had alot of oil, it ended up cracking and caking when I got home at 7am the next day. I looked like death. Prior to this I only wore this for about 8-9 hours and I would simply touch up with concealor – even though my face did not look “fresh” it was still slightly better than my bare face.
Made in: Korea
- Does not break me out
- Glass packaging
- Comes with a pump
- Does not cling to dry skin, but does not improve it either…but you can see it
- Limited shade range
- The shades run too light
- The foundation feels like it doesn’t actually “set”
- Not long wearing
- The formula is almost as runny as the Chanel Vitalumiere Satin Smoothing Makeup but does not blend into the skin as seamlessly
- Gets oily after 1 hour in hot weather
- I am constantly touching up
Repurchase: No, since the formula does not match my combination skin type.
Last words: The coverage is light to light-medium, so any redness and eyebags require a concealor. Usually I find some foundations workable as long as you use the right powder. Not this one. Loose powder is only slightly better than using a compact with this.
This foundation also cakes easily with compact powder since it is so moisturising, so I recommend this product to those with drier skin types rather than normal, combination or oily skin to try it instead. I really have to say I expected more since I enjoyed their BB Cream, concealor and other foundation. This is probably one of the few foundations I have given up on, and thrown away since it is too light and not long wearing enough for any of my friends as well since most of them have been tanning.
I really wish I picked the other version to try, but looking at how light #23 is even for me, it’s not going to be likely. If I were to repurchase another Touch In Sol Foundation, it’ll definitely be the TOUCH IN SOL FLAWLESS TOP COAT – but probably in shade 1 since I seem to have gotten more pale lately and the formula tends to oxidize slightly on my skin.
Pure Smile Art Masks
When travelling, I think the hardest thing to think of is finding souvenirs or something fun and usable. A lot of the time my friends ask me about what I recommend to gift when looking around in Japan, and Pure Smile would be one of them. The Pure Smile Masks I use on my instagram are all gifts sent by my friends in Japan, or given to me when I see them (they always leave a letter accompanying it saying it will help keep me beautiful haha). So as a recipient of these products, I can definitely say they bring a smile to my face.
Face Masks with cute or interesting designs aren’t anything new, as Missha, SNP and various other Korean brands make these, but for Japanese related designs, Pure Smile are by far the cheapest option for these in Japan. There are pricier versions with Kabuki designs from other companies which you can also get in department store beauty sections, I think the price was over $10 each. If you prefer a boxed set version of pure smile sheet masks to give out, it is available but you would have to look for them, since I have only seen them sold individually in most places.
I’ve decided to upload images of the products and the back of them, which include ingredients listing in English, just in case you wanted to check it out before heading to Japan. The price below is for a single, but if you ever come across a set it should be roughly 1080 yen, which is even cheaper.
Price: 324 yen
Weight: 1 sheet (27 ml)
Made in: Korea
- Design – there is a wide range – you can pick from cute to strange looking designs
- The usage instructions – these are absolutely adorable – attention to detail ❤
- Alot of extra essence
- They all contain collagen, hyaluronic acid and collagen
- Size – fits my face really well
- The width fits my face perfectly
- Not targetted “treatment” types (but i personally don’t use these to ‘treat’ acne or wrinkles)
- The cut – my nose sticks out of the middle and I don’t have a long nose
Cutie Point Pads
The only Pure Smile Products I’ve had purchase for myself are the point pads – I prefer to purchase the ones from the Sanrio rather than the ones with fruit designs. I’ve purchased these as fillers for other souvenir packages I give to friends and family. Some Sanrio designs are exclusive to the Sanrio and Hello kitty Stores, while other designs are available nationwide. There is no ingredients listing in English unfortunately.
Price: 216 yen
Weight: 10 sheets (17 ml)
Made in: Korea
Last words: This is just a suggestion and overview on a popular product that is great to pick up as a gift or for personal use. I decided to write about these as they are easily available in Japan and affordable – especially when you end up overspending in areas of your travel budget and when you may have only an hour to spare between sight seeing and various other plans. (Pure smile also makes regular essence masks which are even cheaper than the art masks for those who don’t feel comfortable with using the Art Masks. There are various other brands of face masks that I recommend, but I will write about that in another post.)
The prices listed are what I see on websites – these may change depending on the company or if tax goes up again in Japan. I would definitely recommend that you use this at night rather than in the day time, since it is a heavier feeling essence than Kose and Lululun. Apply a cream after this and sleep straight away.
They also have a youtube channel (which has not been updated for over a year) and website that you can browse which I have linked below.
I left this sitting unopened for a few months since I was still using my other cleansers. This review took
more than a month a few months a year or so to do, since I was once again distracted by life and forgot I had a blog. I purchased this during a 50%off sale (the same time as when I purchased the People for Plants Mist Toner when I was hoarding). I forgot to take photos…so I will have to repurchase it again soon and update this… >.<
First impression: The first time I used this was during my time of month. My skin seemed oilier and my pores seemed a little more obvious than usual. My skin had significantly improved in the past month (I wasn’t using anything in particular for my acne) so I decided to test this out. I definitely did not regret it.
Other impressions: I brought this to Japan with me (the year before last year), and even after using this daily, morning and night, my skin never felt dehydrated from using this product in the winter.
The thing to note is that it won’t dramatically improve your clogged pores/acne overnight, but as long as you take steps to maintain your skin (but don’t overexfoliate) maintain a ‘decent’ diet and have at least 7 hours of sleep, your skin won’t get any worse 😉
Instructions: use twice daily, in the morning and in the evening
- Non-drying as it claims on the packaging
- Squeeze tube
- Did not cause redness or irritation
- Easily available in Australia
- No parabens, SLES,synthetic fragrances and colours, petrolatum, silicones, mineral oils, PEGS, TEA, DEA, Urea, Peroxide, Animal products & testing, nano particles
- No travel size
Last words: This is probably one of the few glycolic and salicylic acid products that didn’t make my skin feel stripped of moisture or red and irritated (ones that I used before are long discontinued or reformulated though).
The only time I used this twice a day was during my time of month, other than that, I found that once a day would suffice.
It is definitely a top 10 favourite cleanser that I have repurchased and will do so again in the future, after using up a few more cleansers that I picked up in Japan again.
Please create travel sizes for your products,
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