Ohh sooo many days of photos!!
I was thinking of blogging daily but realized I would just be running out of battery mid-day so I put up some pics on Instagram Stories and that was it.
Here's a quick recap of the last 1.5 weeks in Osaka and Kyoto!
I obviously did quite a bit if drugstore hauling. Not as much as I did in Tokyo. There aren't quite as many in Osaka.
In fact the whole time I was here I think I saw a total of 2-3 girls wearing noticeable bright lips. The emphasis is more on matte perfected skin (that doesn't look like heavy makeup) and bright blush on their cheeks.
I have to say these Coffret d'Or blushes are my new faves as blush toppers now. On their own I don't love them but over another matte blush they give this fine subtle pearl when your cheeks hit the light. Like your skin is naturally dewy and radiant, but not as strong and obvious as regular highlighter.
The local way is to wear them "halo" style. You swirl around the pale shade outside, apply in circular motion, then dip in the deeper color and pop it on your apples.
I don't love it worn that way though. The white pearl tones all over the wider cheek area CAN emphasize pores. Plus the color is a bit too soft this way.
But take a leaf from the Japanese style book anyway and try a halo blush. (You can dip your blush brush in regular powder, then a blush. Sweep that soft combined shade around your cheeks first. Then dip your brush into just the blush again and apply the stronger shade around the apples, in the middle of where you applied the softer color.)
The style here for some of the trendier girls is SUPER strong blush though.
And it's amazing that this trend has been here since I went to Tokyo about 3 yrs ago. I do have to say the Japanese stick with what they like and are not quick to adopt foreign trends like Korean style makeup.
You won't see shiny skin and strong lips here. They did give a nod to K-style with cushion compacts (regular tubes are still more popular) and ombre lips. But the lips are done with very natural colors.
If you see Maquillage's new Watery Rouges at counters from this month on do take a look. I bought one of the deepest shades RS338. And it's just a soft rosy pink LOL.
You'll get an idea of the Japanese approach to makeup. Very polished and perfect but the woman is the focus, never the colors except if you want to do the trendy flushed cheeks.
I didn't buy that much makeup though. (By my standards.) i DID buy a ton of lashes.
These were the one thing I was DETERMINED to stock up on cos I just love the quality of their lashes and the pricing. The pricetags vary but you can find 4 pairs of Miche Bloomin' for ¥1000 at some drugstores. That's the cheapest I personally saw (without making an effort to really seek out the cheapest places).
And D.U.P. brush on lash glue I also grabbed quite a fee of as well.
You can find all these in Sg.
Another weird thing I like to check out are Japanese acne creams.
I couldn't find this Shiseido anti-inflammatory lotion I got in Tokyo the last time but I did find one other treasure.
This one apparently is a staple in many Japanese women's stashes so look out for it (whether in Japan or online) if you are curious to try.
Annasalbe Ace Cream.
I picked at my pores and had one red inflamed spot when I got here, which sent me trawling through drugstores looking for different options.
This is the one that worked SUPER fast. It's a sulfur based cream which kills bacteria and also dries out active spots and reduces inflammation quickly.
I snapped up 2 more tubes yesterday the moment I found another drugstore that carried it.
One thing to pick up from Japanese specialty stores or if you are traveling in Japan are these all in one gel creams.
I got the Dense Cover Gel formula for dry skin (which I have not tried so can't review now).
What it is - is toner, serum and face cream plus sleeping mask in one. A bit weird cos we are used to brands telling us to use treatment waters softeners serums etc etc etc. Apparently this is a bestseller because a majority of women just cannot be bothered with so many steps.
I did also have one more mission. I was CERTAIN I would be able to pick up lotsa eyeshadows in Japan that would work beautifully as face highlighters.
Japanese eyeshadow ranges have
1. super smooth finely milled formulas
2. translucent pigmentation
3. a large proportion of soft pale neutral-ish tones with duochrome finishes
And my eye landed on the new Esprique single shadows which are gorgeous. I did wear them both on the lids as well as the cheeks.
The lighting in the hotel was pretty crap but you can roughly see the difference in tone.
Soft pink, champagne gold and lilac.
And I did wear the lilac out as highlighter. It's not crazy looking at all. Very luminous and pretty. Of course you can go to MAC and pick up the Extra Dimension skin finishes in similar tones.
These just have slightly more subtle pearl and aren't so strong on the face.
I did also pick up this Kosé Visée palette. The entire series is neutral/nude colors and I usually wouldn't pick this one cos there isn't enough of a difference between the pale shades to create much of a "look" on the eyes.
But I got this cos the 3 soft shades are great for highlighting. Yep that's me testing the theory again that Japanese shadows make for crap eye looks but great highlighters.
(Honestly 90% the palettes will give you the same look: soft neutral and undefined.)
Seriously half the time, there will be 2-4 shades in there that look almost the same when applied on the lid so you can usually create the same effect with 2 eyeshadows. One pale and soft all over the lid and one medium deep applied along the upper lash line.
That's the universal drugstore palette look that brands put out in Japan. Which is frankly a disservice to customers cos they are all the same and not flattering for Asian eyes.
But I'll save the rant for another day...
AND because it's almost Winter, the brands are putting out all sorts of "snow powders".
These are sheer face powders sometimes with fine scattering of milky pearl or sparkle. Most are created to give your face a soft white "cast". Sounds bad but it's interesting as long as you apply down your neck and chest and shoulders etc. otherwise you have a white moon face and normal neck.
Look out for the Maquillage 2016 one which is gorgeous. This one is Visée's which comes in a small tin.
What these are meant for is to create a very "Snow White" dreamy fairy effect with soft pale skin and makeup.
I would say the product creates that fantasy in theory but in real life it's easy to end up looking weird so experiment at your own risk!
The only times I've personally seen it looking good are in the brand's ads.
But hey most people just buy these to collect anyway.
I do have to say the Japanese are amazing with their packaging and presentation. Those glow powders from Maquillage made my heart stop.
But then I swatched them and they just look like any blush or matte brightening powder so... in Japan and when looking at Japanese products you need to work hard to get past that "my brain got hijacked by prettiness" factor which makes you want to buy everything against your better judgment.
If course if you just love collecting pretty things then... you will love all of these.
Where I think they cannot be beat is in the quality of their makeup brushes. I noticed that all the most-used brushes I hardcore love - which are NOT labeled Hakuhodo - are all made in Japan anyway. All.
There are those Wayne Goss brushes I use for highlighting, the only MAC brush I love, the stuff I got from Tokyu Hands...
I do like my Zoevas of course. But more cos they are affordable and effective. The ones I would save in a fire would be mostly (if not all) Japanese-made.
As for quality Japanese made makeup, I'd recommend Addiction for something different. Not that those products from RMK, Shiseido and Kose are not fab.
Just cos they have such different pigments and colors. This is like the Japanese version of NARS. But you get NARS colors in silky ultra-fine Japanese formulas.
If you've tried the very expensive Surratt Beauty you will have an idea what I'm talking about. His powder formulas and makeup tools are all made in Japan btw.
They were out of their concealer pot (which I love) but I did grab a bunch of shadows.
I was super sad that they'd discontinued this super metallic champagne face highlighter shade though. I bought one when I was in Tokyo and maybe people just weren't into metallic highlighters back then. Now thanks to people like Jeffree Star and Nickietutorials everyone wants high shine cheeks in different colors and I'm going "YASS FINALLY!"
As for staples I've been using daily this trip, the standouts were the MAC Sweet Peach cheek duo, Shiseido's new Synchro Skin Glow cushion, and Lancome Lip Lover glosses which I brought a bunch of.
Well I brought WAY too much makeup and ended up using the same things daily.
I've been using that MAC duo for about 2 weeks straight and there's not even a dent in the product. Some of the embossing is starting to wear away but considering how much I've dug into it, I'm amazed. Might buy a backup.
The blush color is neutral and soft so it works as both a natural blush AND a subtle cheek sculpting shade. Similar to stuff like Tarte Exposed. I didn't need a contour powder with this.
And that pale champagne beige highlighter - my gawd! I love it. They need to make a large single compact of it.
I brought lotsa lipsticks but ended up just using Lip Lovers because when your lips are dry and chapped these are the only ones that look as good as they feel. I tried out a few of RMK's new glosses.
The press kit arrived just before I left and I popped them straight into my luggage cos the colors are gorgeous (I'll swatch them for you when I'm back in sg) but I ended up wiping them off the days I wore them cos something about the formula was making them gunk up where my lips meet. You know those clumps n lumps of gloss around the corners and insides of your mouth?
I'm not sure if it's because of the cold here in Japan. <UPDATE> Yep definitely the cold cos these work beautifully in Sg.
To be honest that's been the extent of my beauty hauling. Aside from that we've been enjoying Autumn sight-seeing and just WAY too much food.
Like omurice... which I love... and various ramen... way too much Japanese curry...
Various fried "katsu" and croquettes...
Amazing tonkatsu (more fried food) where the Awabi pork is coming apart in chunks under your chopsticks...
And matcha lattes...
I'll do another post on sights (and food) soon!
Friday, 2 Dec 2016
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