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Month: April 2016

What I Got in Japan

What I Got in Japan

Recently, my husband and I spent three weeks in Tokyo, Japan, which was an insanely long vacation for me. I’m not complaining, though, it was wonderful!

Before and during the trip, I searched around a little for some recommendations for beauty products to pick up, because my addiction never takes a holiday. I picked up a few things that I had read about, but also grabbed a few that just looked appealing to me at the time.

Sheet Masks

LuLuLun Face Mask Balance Moisture Type and Pure 5 Gold Essence Mask
LuLuLun Face Mask Balance Moisture Type and Pure 5 Gold Essence Mask

It seems that everywhere I read suggested stocking up on sheet masks whenever visiting East Asia – and the Lululun brand was on the top of the list of Japan. From what I gathered, the pink ones are a basic, moisturizing type, while there are also blue “high moisture” ones and white “brightening” ones regularly available, along with a wide range of special edition types. I stuck with the normal ones, as I’m new to the sheet mask game.

I also picked up the Pure 5 Gold Essence Masks because they had gold in them (such luxury!) and hyaluronic acid. In my previous post about hair care, I mentioned being drawn to anything with argan oil. Hyaluronic acid is the equivalent for my face. This is only because Dr. Google told me it was super moisturizing, but my face did feel very nice after using the masks!

Heroine Make Mascara

Isehan Kiss Me Heroine Make Long & Curl Super Waterproof Mascara
Isehan Kiss Me Heroine Make Long & Curl Super Waterproof Mascara

This mascara seems to have rave reviews everywhere, so I had to give it a try. I ended up liking it so much, that I had to buy a back-up before we left.

It has a little curved wand that I think works really well at distributing product. While it is a bit heavy and seems to weigh down my lashes if I don’t curl them, if I do, it holds them in place all day. It does have fibers in it, but they seem to be quite fine and don’t get clumpy.

Also, this is the Super Waterproof variety, and that is no joke. I thought my Maybelline Volum’ Express The Rocket Waterproof Mascara was a bit difficult to remove, but it’s got nothing on this. I’ve got to let my lashes soak in a dual-phase eye-makeup remover for a bit before it even has a chance of budging.

Eyelash Curler

Japanese Eyelash Curler

I’m kicking myself because I can’t find the box for this, so i can’t really give any specific information about it – other than I bought it at the Akihabara Yodabashi, which is primarily an electronics store. It was just an inexpensive little eyelash curler, but one of the things I liked about the eyelash curlers is that they came in different shapes and sizes – and some brands advertised the actual measurements.

I often have a problem with eyelash curlers being too flat for me, so I can get all of my lashes in them at once. This curler is much more curved than any of my old ones, and I only need to curl my lashes once to get all of them. For those with the opposite problem, there were also flatter, longer curlers available!

False Eyelashes and Glue

Loujene Lashes and Eyelash Glue
Loujene Lashes and Eyelash Glue (no like, I couldn’t find an online retailer)

I actually bought two pairs of false lashes from Loujene, but I lost the little case for the, so they’re just sitting in a plastic container I had for something else. These lashes and the glue were actually from the 100 yen store, so we’re talking less than a euro in cost here. The glue didn’t work very well, but the lashes are great! I’ve cleaned off my other pair already, and they seem fairly sturdy for the price and how delicate they look.

That’s really what I love about them. The individual lashes look very natural looking and are softly tapered at the end, which blends in my better with your actual lashes. When I compared them to a pair of essence half lashes, the difference was pretty striking.

Loujene Secretly Volume-up 02 Lashes, essence lashes to impress 03 half lashes
Loujene Secretly Volume-up 02 Lashes, essence lashes to impress 03 half lashes

I do like that the essence lashes have a clear, sturdier band, but the look is so very different. I definitely go the impression that much more natural looking false lashes were popular in Japan.

Kate Eyeshadow

Kate Brown Shade Eyes - BR-3
Kate Brown Shade Eyes – BR-3

Kate was one of the drugstore brands I saw recommended for eyeshadow, so it ended up being my choice to test out. I ended up getting this quad because it was one of the more pigmented ones I found, and I couldn’t resist that rosy-bronze shade in the middle.

Kate Brown ShadeEyes BR3 - Swatches
Kate Brown Shade Eyes – BR-3

Almost all of the eyeshadows I swatched were very shimmery, and many were quite sheer. If you watch Lisa Eldridge’s East Meets West video, this is reflects a trend for a lot of lightness around the eyes, as opposed to the western super-smokey look. You can even see this in the directions for how to use the eyeshadow quad that came on the packaging.

Kate Brown Shade Eyes Instructions

Maybelline or Covergirl would tell you to pull that deep shade right up into a defined crease, while these instructions have you use a lighter shade for definition (this may also have something to do with different eye shapes being more prevalent in different populations). I will say that I haven’t tried this method yet, I’m a little stuck in my current ways.

Have you ever brought back interesting beauty products from a trip? Tell me in the comments!

*Disclaimer: None of the links in this post are affiliate links.

My TSA-Approved Liquids Bag

My TSA-Approved Liquids Bag

1 April 2016 – I’m bringing this post back again because I’m on vacation, and while I plan on writing about some of my beauty related discoveries here in Tokyo, I haven’t had much time to explore or write yet. However, back when I was packing for this trip, I looked back at this post to make sure I was ready to go for the plane trip. The only things I ended up adding were a concealer and a moisturizer with salicylic acid because my skin was acting up. I hope this list is as useful for you as it’s been for me!

My Liquids Travel Bag

I’m going to be heading back to America at the end of August, so expect some more travel related posts popping up as I prepare myself. I’m desperately trying to cure myself of my overpacking tendencies, so I’m hoping that by documenting my packing process, I can hold myself accountable for being efficient.

First up is my liquids bag – my little one liter or so plastic bag that I can fill with 100 ml bottles because that is apparently necessary for safety. I think a lot of the security hoops we have to jump through nowadays are pretty much useless and just for show, but that’s is a topic for another time. Because I don’t want to take a boat over, I dutifully stash all of my fluids and gels into a little plastic bag for travel. On a positive note, I really adore tiny-sized objects, so this gives me an excuse to buy travel bottles of things.

I used to stuff my ziploc bags with as much as I possibly could, but as I’ve traveled more, I’ve taken note of the things I’ll shove in there and won’t actually use. These things do not make a return. I’ve managed to divide my needs into four categories, which I hope may help some of you make decisions about what you may need on your trips.


Skin Care

Planes are dry and they are dirty, so I always bring hand sanitizer and moisturizer. The hand sanitizer is just the store brand from Lidl, because as long as it has enough alcohol in it, it will kill all the germs. The Verlobter has convinced me that the water in the airplane bathrooms is filthy, so I use this as an alternative to hand washing. I have no idea how true that is, but I know that you aren’t supposed to drink the sink water, so I’m very suspicious of it.

We got this tiny Nivea Creme tin in a travel kit, but the next size up also works quite well. I like it for my hands and face because my skin gets really dry in the plane, especially on long haul flights. It also doesn’t have a very strong scent, so you will not bother your neighbors. I’m not 100% sure if the cream counts as a liquid, but it’s small, so I throw it in the bag to be safe.


Travel Dental Care

Dental care is probably more important for those of us traveling on long haul flights, if you are only on a plane for a few hours, you probably won’t need to freshen up. The toothpaste I may not actually use on the flight, because of my aforementioned fear of the bathroom water, but I like to have it in case we get stranded somewhere. And I can also brush my teeth during the layover in a sink with less sketchy water.

The mouthwash I will use on the plane as a quick refresh before we land. Our long haul flight in August will be about 10 hours long, and I would like to attempt to sleep during it. I have not used these particular products before, I just bought them because they were cheap at Müller. I don’t have any special preferences for my teeth and mouth, though, so I’m sure they’ll work out fine.


Eye Care

If you have perfect eyesight, you can skip this section and I don’t like you. (Kidding, the Verlobter has perfect eyesight, I’m just jealous.) I will wear my glasses during the trip, but I am scared that my luggage will be lost, and, depending on what we are doing after we land, I may want to put my contacts in right after we arrive. I hate encountering sunlight without sunglass, so if we land during the day, I will likely pop them in.

I keep my current pair of contacts in my adorable owl case that I think I got from Walmart. It’s getting a bit old and worn down, so I will probably need to buy a new one soon. I also bring an extra pair. Mine are two week contacts, so I will probably start a new pair right before we leave, and then I’ll have the extra set in case I lose one. It’s important to have replacements with me in the US, because there you need a prescription to buy new ones, unlike Germany where you can pop into a drugstore to pick them up. I keep extra solution in an old Target travel bottle because travel sized solution is comically overpriced.


Travel Makeup

If you don’t wear makeup or don’t feel the need to put any on while traveling, you can skip this section. This is the category I’ve cut down the most. I think the first time I traveled, I had enough for a full face, with my powder products (eyeshadow, blush, setting powder) in another bag. That is way overkill for me now, especially since I never go anywhere fancy directly from the airport. Now I just stick with a tinted moisturizer/BB cream and mascara so that I don’t arrive looking dead, because my mom always takes pictures for Facebook immediately upon arrival.

The BB cream is the Lidl store brand. I believe it’s under 3€, but it’s really more of a tinted moisturizer than a BB cream. That’s fine for me, because that’s all I want. Because it is so sheer, it blends in well with my super pale skin, but it does brighten it up a bit and add some moisture – perfect for the end of the flight. It says it has SPF 10, but that’s basically nothing for pasty people like me, so I wouldn’t treat it like sunscreen.

The mascara is just what I’ve currently been wearing. It’s the Glam & Doll Volume Mascara Waterproof from Catrice. I just picked it up because I wanted a waterproof mascara for the summer, and it was pretty cheap (under 5€, I believe). It’s okay. It’s not clumpy, which I like, but it can smudge a little on the lower lashes, which isn’t cool because it’s meant to be waterproof. Doesn’t bother me too much, though.

So that’s what I’ll have in my liquids bag! The bag itself is from Essence and I picked it up and Müller. I grabbed it because it is rather thick plastic and felt pretty sturdy. However, I’ve already had to wiggle the zipper bit back on, so I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it. If you can find one will a real zipper, that will probably be the best if you are planning on using it a lot. However, for just a trip or two, regular ziploc baggies work quite well.

Is there anything that you can’t live without in your baggie? Let me know below! Maybe in my attempts to be more efficient, I’ve missed something critical!

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