Hi! Hey! Remember me? Apologies for the lack of posts – I guess no-one told me how tiring working in a foreign country, commuting almost four hours a day and general culture shock/fatigue/homesickness really was. I’ll do a general three month post soon, but I wanted to drop in an announce that my life here in Japan is still going great, and regular posting will be a thang here at Ye Olde Omo!. The (very relaxed) schedule will be probably two-three times a week, with one beauty related post and one culture (film, TV, music et al) post a week. It’s a more fluid system and more me, so please look forward to it.
Above: my vanity area, which isn’t organised at all and may actually keep me awake at night. Work with what you have, right? Right?!
Let’s get the ball rolling with a post I’ve been thinking about for a while. A lot of you are aware of how sensitive my skin is, and one of my major concerns about moving to a foreign country was “how on earth am I going to stick to the meticulous skin routines I’ve carved out through the years?” Simple answer – I couldn’t. Unless I spend huge amounts importing everyday things like body wash and washing powder, I was going to have to be a little flexible and try some new stuff.
My major basics have stayed the same, especially in regards to my face (snerk): I’m still using Shu Uemura’s Cleansing Beauty Oil Premium a/i (albeit for fifty dollars cheaper. Ain’t missing those jacked up Aussie prices, man), Dove deodorant, and for a daily moisturiser, Cetaphil’s Daily Advance Ultra Hydrating Lotion. It’s the smaller things that I’ve had to go out of my comfort zone for, leaving me standing in drug stores here for hours with my electronic dictionary hoping for the best. So, here’s a look at my new essentials!
When in Rome, etc…literally one bottle of this stuff is sold every four seconds here – I’ve pretty much stayed away from toners as a rule, due to most Western brands being extremely stripping and just not great for sensitive skin. My dear blogger friend Justine of Sakura, Lovely and I were waxing on about skin treatments – as we are known to do – and I mentioned I’d never tried it, but was finding my skin dryer than normal due to winter and the heater being used constantly. She told me to give this a burl, and well. Never looking back. It’s even helped even out my skin tone, as well as keeping the winter cornflake skin at bay. This stuff is unicorn blood in a bottle, I swear.
I’d actually first tried this product in Australia, paying the inflated prices from our import Asian cosmetic stores because this is basically the unicorn blood cousin of the lotion talked about above. I found it lost its effectiveness going into summer, but I picked it up again here in Tokyo to use as a night moisturiser, and I adore it. One of the best moisturisers for dry and cold conditions, I can’t recommend this enough. It is slightly sticky (like the lotion), but once I wash my hands it doesn’t faze me at all.
For my lazy days, these make-up remover sheets are just perfect. They’re not abrasive and get my make-up off with ease. The only downsides are that they’re a weird shape – very long and skinny – and well? There’s not much else to say about them, to be honest, which could potentially be a downside. But they’re cheap, and don’t leave me reaching for the hydrocortisone cream, so I’ve adopted them into my Lazy Day face routine. You can buy them in a super classy diamond-shaped plastic container, but for some reason I’ve never been able to find the HA version at any of my drug stores. Pissed, man. I want that glitzy crap on my vanity!
[Crappy Joke] But…I want to keep my lips and eyes, Etude House! Please don’t remove them! [/Crappy Joke] Now I have that out of my system, this product is my absolute Second Choice. I have a very close relationship with Kate’s Eye Make-Up Remover and was looking forward to not paying jacked up G-Market and Asian cosmetic store prices. In fact, I thought they would gift it to me on arrival to Tokyo, or it would rain from the skies and I would dance, with my eyes free of Diorshow, Dolly Wink liner and irritation. Nope. I have not been able to find it in a single. Drug store. In my entire time here, and I’m almost about to storm Kanebo’s HQ in a fit of desperation. But in the meantime, I need clean eyes I guess, so I bought this one instead. It’s good. Does what it says it’s supposed to. You can shake it up and the two different bits combine, which is kind of cool. But it’s not the Kate one.
“But,” I can hear you saying, “they’re just cotton pads. Get them from Daiso or something!” No. No, dear reader, you’re wrong. These are wondrous face pillows spun from the cotton fields of the gods. I bought them after needing to replace an empty package of Daiso ones – they were on special for ¥120 (RRP ¥220) and I will never go back. Ever. I will pay that extra ¥115 and cry with joy every time I put these plush cottony delights on my eyelids to remove the day’s crusty mascara, before sighing with happiness. Now, if only I could find the Kate Eye Makeup Remover, it’d be Christmas every damn night.
I’d been using the same shampoo, conditioner and body wash for literally years before moving here, and I’ll be honest – these where the things that were freaking me out the most. My body skin (…bad term) is probably more sensitive than that on my face, so much so that when I wash my hair I have to do so like I’m at the damn hairdressers – crouched over the bath with nothing touching my face. I’d used the Super Mild when visiting here in the past, so after SALA gave me a rash around my hairline, I swapped back to this. I found that in the beginning, it made my hair quite heavy; but now it’s a lot smoother, and it doesn’t irritate my skin. And the body wash? Talk about a lucky dip that paid off. I love this stuff. No heavy fragrance, and I haven’t reacted to it one bit. Wrapt. (I do react to YesStyle.com charging $35 for it – the above refill plus the bottle I’m still not through three months later was less than ¥300. It’s gonna be hard to move back home.)
In the great Search To Replace the Kate Eye Makeup Remover Quest of 2013, I picked this up after reading great reviews on it. Plus that #1 jazz up top and Ueto Aya’s happy face couldn’t steer me wrong, right? No. I hate this stuff. Actually hate it, yet for some reason it’s still sitting on my vanity. It smells, it’s soapy, it made my eyes blurry – just a whole world of no. I want to say more, but it would just equate to a lot of ”nopes”, so. Nope.
Adding this into the post because this is the one product I have realised I cannot live without. Growing up with severe infantile eczema, baths/water/the air generally was hell on earth for me. I found this stuff when I was well into my twenties, and I can’t lie – I actually cried when I used it for the first time, because it worked. So this has found its way in to many care packages and whatnot, as I can’t buy it here – but it goes to show, that even in a whole new exciting world of cosmetics and skin products, somethings just work for you, not matter what.
There you have it – my new essentials. I hope this was interesting – and I want to know! Have you ever had to try something out of convenience, and found it’s perfect for you?