japanese products

makeup thoughts + review list

Almost 2 months since my last post! I’ve been busy with big-ish life events. But I got to try new products during that time, so there is much to write about. The last few weeks has made me think that I should really learn how to do makeup well. I’ve always been interested in cosmetics, but just was never into it as much as I am into skincare.

What makes makeup even less appealing to me is that it’s mostly hot and humid where I live. I don’t know how others survive putting on piles of makeup in this weather. It’s just too difficult. I have the oiliest and sweatiest face I know, and makeup disappearing after only a couple hours because my face is acidic and oily and this is a hot country is exasperating. Now if I only moved to a colder climate, or my face was less oily, my life would be tons easier.

But I understand more now how makeup is an art. Painting the face, mixing and matching, and making little decisions to put together a beautiful look… It’s a rewarding art process. Beneficial too cos you make yourself look better as you develop your skills.

I want it and I want to do it well.

Here’s a list of the new stuff I tried and will mini review:

  • Becca Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector
  • RMK Liquid Foundation (not really new but I never reviewed it before)
  • Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Compact
  • Nars Orgasm in Blush
  • Essence Gel Eye Pencil Waterproof

first impressions: melano cc intensive anti-spot essence

I used Melano CC before going to bed the other night. It felt a bit oily upon application. Its texture is like watery baby oil – oily to the feel but also a bit runny. It dries easily, though, so no issue there. It also faintly smells of oranges, which I can smell on my fingers after application, but not elsewhere. Probably cos I can’t smell my face?

Upon waking up the next day, I noticed that my skin felt softer and smoother. I also looked into the mirror and my forehead pores looked tighter! No C20-like brightening, though, which is expected, but still a bummer. One good thing for now is I haven’t experienced any cystic breakouts so far. This product has Vitamin E, so if it doesn’t break me out in cysts, I’m not allergic to Vitamin E after all! (And so the C20 breakout mystery continues…)

Now I didn’t use this product last night as I don’t want to be harsh on my skin. However, when I looked into the mirror tonight, I saw that my facial skin had a mild grainy texture! 😭

A couple of possible reasons:

  • I had chemical poisoning and allergy attack from paradichlorobenzene the other day, so my skin could just be acting up. But then it could also be…
  • Overexfoliation! I use acids regularly and, just recently, started using galactomyces on my skin. The last time I had this kind of graininess was from using Andalou Naturals Kombucha Cleansing Gel. Interestingly, they both have the same orangey smell. I really hope it’s not overexfoliation, though!

Fingers crossed it works for me. I don’t find it wondrous so far, but it would be nice to have a popular Vitamin C product working for me. I’ll just keep using it for now, hoping it works. I still have my eyes on C21.5 and other Vitamin C products, though!

June 24 update: I take it back. This did not tighten my pores. The second time I used it, I woke up to normal-looking pores, if not a big bigger. Possibly also because of overexfoliation, big pores being one sign of that.

I also got a small-ish cystic spot on my chin. I stopped using this and the spot has started shrinking. I do think the mild graininess I got the other day was a result of this product as well. It went away once I stopped. I’ll probably continue using this again sometime in the future to make sure my claims are accurate, but for now I will give my skin a rest.

mini review: hada labo shirojyun arbutin lotion

In search of a lightening face product, I bought this lotion. Hada Labo calls it a “lotion” but it doesn’t have a creamy texture. In my understanding, the Japanese call their toners “lotions” and their moisturisers “milk.” It can be confusing so make sure you’re getting the right product.

Picked this item specifically for its arbutin and MAP (magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, a stable derivative of Vitamin C) content, two lightening/brightening powerhouses. I had previously used a generic arbutin cream and another Vitamin C product with success so I can vouch for the efficacy of these ingredients when it comes to lightening/brightening.

Within a week of use, it changed my skin. It brightened my face, but in an artificial sort of way. It gave me this glossy plasticky shine on my forehead that makes it look like I have a layer of plastic on my face. It’s not necessarily bad, but it was unnatural. Looked like I had an oily forehead, except there was no oil and it was squeaky to the feel. The last time I experienced this was with Stridex in the red box.

The bigger bummer was that with such a short ingredient list, this lotion still managed to break me out. It gave me whiteheads on my forehead – only on my forehead, none elsewhere. I read that somebody else experienced the same thing, too.

In terms of application, this product feels tacky and a bit sticky. It always goes away within a couple minutes, though, so it’s not a big issue. It also has the texture of sticky water and I find that it adds hydration to the skin, but just a tiny bit.

A tip when you look for this product: You will find that some merchants use “albutin” instead of “arbutin.” It’s the same thing. The Japanese just don’t use “R” in their language sometimes; they change it to “L”.