Facial Oil Obsession

In the book I'm currently reading, Pretty Honest from Sali Hughes, there is a line that says "I feel sad and frustrated by how many woman have been convinced they must avoid oil to prevent oiliness" followed by another line "I am entirely understanding about why oil-free moisturisers are a more comfortable, matte and practical make-up base by day, but I would still advocate a light facial oil at night".

I have dry skin during winter, and it becomes more like combination skin in spring and summer. Which makes it hard for me to fully understand what it's like to have oily skin all year round, but I believe what Sali is saying is true. A good facial oil helps your skin a lot. Today I'm going to share my favourite face oils for different purposes.

For an intensive hydration treatment.....
Suki Balancing Facial Oil $32.95
This amazing oil specially made for oily to combo skin is from an American brand called Suki.  I have used their brilliant face scrub before and since then I fully trust their products. I got this oil from Vitacost.com (I put the link above), and I am so glad I did.

According to the website, what this oil does is this : "Non-clogging sebum equalizing complex™ - jojoba, borage & hazelnut – matches skin's own complex chemistry balancing designed specifically to deeply deliver perfect hydration for overall harmony"

I apply it on my face after cleansing it, and massage for a minute or so. Then I place a hot towel on my face and relax until the towel gets cold. Once it's cold, I heat it up again, then do the same until I feel that the oil is fully absorbed into my skin. The blend of lavender and chamomile essential oils helps to relax as well.

Once the oil has sunk in completely, I apply lotion and moisturiser as usual. My skin feels like a baby's butt whenever I do this, this is definitely my favourite way to pamper my skin.

For cleansing.....
Badger Organic Beauty Balm Damascus Rose $13.59
I was inspired to use this balm as a cleansing balm when I read a blog post by Alix from I COVET THEE. In this post HERE, she is introducing this balm from Neal's Yard as a cleansing balm. But this is sold as a mositurising balm that you use after moisturiser. 

So I thought, using a balm as a cleansing balm could be pretty good, and I was right. It's very moisturising and surprisingly it does remove makeup too. But one thing you need to be careful is to make sure to use a muslin cloth to remove, otherwise it repels water. I'm not a big fan of a muslin cloth, but I have no choice but to use it when I cleanse my face with this balm. 

The scent is divine, a blend of lavender, rose and chamomile which is pretty soothing and relaxing.

As a serum.....
Terracuore Damask Rose Dew Oil  6,696yen
If you haven't tried anything from this Japanese brand Terracuore, you are missing out. Although I'm not a big fan of organic beauty products, their products are amazing I have to admit. And the weird thing is, their products never broke me out. They have an organic farm in Italy and develop the products in Japan. Their damask rose cleansing milk has been very popular and I am a big fan of it too.

This oil is tiny and pretty pricey but trust me, it's worth it. I use it before or after moisturiser as a serum, depending on my skin condition....or let's say, my mood. It smells absolutely brilliant, it smells like a rose bouquet without being overpowering. I am not a big fan of rose -scented beauty products, as I often find them smelling too strong and feminine, but this one is just beautiful. 

I apply one drop of it on my entire face and leave it as it is until next morning. I admit it doesn't sink in immediately and it does go on my pillow a little bit, but it's not sticky or greasy at all. On the next morning, my pores look smaller and my skin looks plumped. Sometimes I feel that it works better than the expensive serum that I'm using.

Facial oil is definitely effective, and I cannot live without them. I strongly recommend you to try the hot towel treatment with a good facial oil if you are not used to it, because it doesn't leave the oily feel on the skin at all yet it definitely hydrates the skin. What's your favourite facial oil?


My favourite autumnal lip combos

It was a short but pretty hot summer we had in Japan this year. I am so sad that it's autumn now and it definitely is getting colder day by day. I hate winter, I just hate everything about winter, and I'm getting so depressed as writing this thinking about winter...BUT I am excited about autumn / winter makeup. I'm all about coral cheeks and coral lips in summer, but I tend to gravitate towards darker lips in colder seasons like everyone else. 

The problem is, I don't look good with dark or bright lips although I'm dying to wear rosy or berry toned lips. And I came up with this idea to mix the lipsticks I own already to create new shades rather than to look for the perfect autumnal shade.

Rimmel London Kate Matte Lipstick / 107 × Moisture Renew Lipstick / Nude Delight
I didn't know that when I bought it but 107 seems to be a very popular shade. On my lips it looks too bright and pinky, so I tone it down with Nude Delight, which is one of my favourite shades of the entire lippie collection.

This is how it looks when both of them are on the lips. They are both matte formula, which creates this beautiful velvet kind of texture which is perfect for autumn.

REVLON  Lip Butter / Berr Smoothie ×Maybelline Baby Lips / Peach Kiss
It's been ages since I stopped wearing Lip Butter although I was pretty obsessed with it when it came out. There is no particular reason why I stopped wearing it, but now I remember how pretty it looked on my lips! Having said that, it's still too bright on its own. So I applied Peach Kiss from Maybelline on top, and voi-la! 

It has the right amount of pinkness but not too bright. Baby Lips give a little bit of shine and I kind of like that.

Estee Lauder 
Pure Colour Envy Shine / Surreal Sun × LUNASOL Full Glamour Liquid Lips/ 03 
This combo is what I've been loving since summer. Surreal Sun is a very bright orange that I cannot wear on its own. I dab Surreal Sun on my lips and blend with my finger, then add LUNASOL lip gloss on top. This shade 03 is no longer available apparently, but it's such a useful shade added on top of any kind of shades. I love how it feels on the lips.

I LOVE this shade!! I don't know what to do when I run out of this lip gloss, as it looks totally different when the lip gloss isn't added on top. This lip shade makes the whole look more sophisticated, and goes really well with autumnal eye makeup. 

Bourjois Effet 3D MAX Lipgloss / #68 × CANMAKE Stay on Balm Rouge / 04
This lip gloss from Bourjois is awesome. It smells awful like rose petals burnt with vinyl or something like that...which is pretty gross. But how gorgeous it looks is unbelievable. It has this rosy undertone to it, which makes my lips look beautiful. It has glitter particles which might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I like it. I paired it with CANMAKE Stay on Balm Rouge in 04, which is a very natural beige.

Browny beige with a hint of rose is such a perfect shade for the colder season. And the glitters make it suitable for the holiday season as well!

It's so much fun paring lipsticks and lipglosses because sometimes it creates a completely different shade. And I can save money by not purchasing a bunch of new lipsticks!


A "stick" lip gloss! OPERA Sheer Lip Color

OPERA Sheer Lip Color / Salmon Pink  1,200yen
OPERA is a brand that is sold in the beauty shops such as Shop in and Makeup Solutions, and some "variety shops" such as LOFT, PLAZA and Tokyu hands. I knew the existence of the brand but had never tried anything from them as nothing seemed appealing to me. Until I found this "stick" lip gloss. 

This one is from the basic range, which is very sheer and you can see your natural lip colour through, and they just came out with the new range called "coloring range" which gives more intense colour and that is why they had a special stand in Shop in. 

After testing all of the shades on the back of my hand, I picked up this gorgeous peachy pink called Salmon Pink. This is literally a stick lip gloss as the name claims. It glides on smoothly, and gives shine like a lip gloss does. What I love the most about this product is that the tint is not too sheer. 

You can see how glossy it looks! And the shade is to die for...this is such a pretty pink that is not too bright and suitable for yellowy skin tone like mine.

In the photos it looks very sheer, but it does brightens up the whole complexion when applied. It creates the most beautiful, plumped  and glossy lips within a second. I LOVE the colour, the name "salmon pink" is perfect to describe the shade. I pair it with anything from simple makeup to dark smoky eyes, it goes well with any looks.

It feels like lip balm on the lips, not sticky or greasy at all. If you don't like the sticky feeling of lip gloss but want the glossy look on your lips, this one is prefect for you.

I thought it was too tiny for 1200yen and I would use it up within a week or so, but surprisingly it lasts for quite a long time. I've been using it for a month now and only used up 20% or so. I would definitely pick up other shades once I've used this one up. 


Me Me Me Eye Inspire Catwalk Quad

Me Me Me Inspire Catwalk Quad Smouldering Eyes £6.50
When I saw the Me Me Me stand in Superdrug for the first time, almost everything on the shelf was sold out. It was the summer 2013, and I think right after someone quite popular in the YouTube world mentioned their products. I was gutted that I couldn't get anything, but I am so glad that I could finally try out some of their products. 

How gorgeous is this eyeshadow quad in Smouldering Eyes? You can use it wet or dry, depending on how intense you want it to be on the lid. I love how it has different kind of shades in one. Usually when you have a quad, it tends to have similar shades or the shades that have the same undertone. But with this one, you can create different looks. 

Look how pigmented they are! And the metallic finish looks gorgeous. I love all of the shades, but especially the brown shades are my favourites as they are not orangy brown (which is pretty common) but rather smoky, golden brown. I am not a big fan of  orangy brown as it looks boring to me, but it's hard to find a unique brown like this quad has. 

Absolutely gorgeous. I applied the lighter brown all over, and the darker brown on the outer corner. It's such a gorgeous yet simple way to wear brown.

The blue shades look pretty too. Sometimes blue can be too strong on me and makes me look like I'm going to a club, but these look natural yet gorgeous. I wear this combo to work sometimes, as it never looks OTT.

The texture is buttery and there is no fall off. They last for hours, and when I say "hours", I mean like 10 hours or more. It's such a small eyeshadow quad which is handy to have in my makeup bag and carry around. You can wear brown in daytime and switch to blue for a night out. I'm so keen on trying out some other shades from the same range!


Beauty rules that are common in Japan

Common knowledge is such an unreliable thing. Not sure if "unreliable" is the best word to describe it, but it really is, because your common knowledge can be senseless in other places. But it's always good to know what is common in other countries, isn't it? Especially when the "country" is Japan, where women give so much attention to beauty!

  • Don't rub your skin with a towel, nor with a cotton pad.
It's surprising to see how girls in Europe and the US rub their skin when they wash their face or pat it dry. Whenever I'm watching "skincare routine" video, and see a girl rubbing her eyes with a cotton pad with Bioderma, then with a muslin cloth, then with a towel, and then again with a cotton pad soaked with toner, it makes me want to scream "NOOOOOO!". That's a huge NO-NO in Japan because it does irritate your skin obviously, and ruin your skin texture. Do not ever rub your skin, even when you wipe your face with a towel, gently pat dry rather than scrubbing.

  • Moisturise with lotion before applying a moisturiser.
In Japan, we all use moisturising lotion before moisturiser. Moisturiser replenishes your skin with oil and other ingredients, whilst lotion gives moisture back to the skin. You can either apply with  a cotton pad or your hands. I choose depending on the texture of the lotion, but when I use a cotton pad I make sure not to rub, and I gently press my skin with my hands in the end to help the lotion sink in completely. 

  • Always wear SPF, even on a cloudy day or indoor.
UV rays are always attacking your skin. Even when you stay indoors. Make sure to apply sunscreen in the morning after washing your face. This is why I love Clinique Superdefence SPF20, as it works as a moisturiser and sunscreen in one!
Hair care

  • Blow dry your hair with a hair dryer.
You need to blow dry your hair unless you have super short hair to maintain both your hair and scalp healthy. When your hair is wet, the cuticle is open which makes your hair in a very fragile state. It causes hair breakage, split ends and dry hair. Also it's easy to imagine your scalp is also wet when your hair is wet. It encourages bacterial growth which can lead to skin diseases and odour. 

If you don't blow dry your hair with a hair dryer only because you are worried it would damage your hair, use a heat protecting spray. Ideally ones with an effective ingredient Erucalactone that seals up the cuticles by the heat. We are aware that the heat damages the hair, but maintaining healthy scalp is much more important as you can cut your hair but your scalp is a part of your body skin, like your face.

  • Wash your hair every day or at least every other day.
I was shocked when I learnt there were countries where people didn't wash their hair every day. That's how it's common sense to wash hair daily. We don't care if it damages our hair (just invest on a good hair mask!), we need to be clean!! I am sorry if I sound harsh, but it is quite disgusting for Japanese people to imagine not washing hair for days, and you sleep with it. 

  • Silicone is bad for your hair. Wait, it's not too bad actually.
It's crazy how people went "anti-silicone" a few years ago and brands started bringing loads of silicone-free shampoo and conditioner. But then some brands started claiming that silicone wasn't always bad, there were some kinds that would clog pores, but not all of them. Silicone-free hair care products are still popular in Japan, but consumers are not as particular as they were. One thing you need to watch out is that the products especially hair treatment or conditioner, that don't contain silicone tend to contain more oils, which get oxidised on your scalp which smell bad. Trust me, it happened to me and I wondered why. I much prefer silicone!

  • Avoid any friction when your hair is wet.
 My hair used to get tangled and dry so bad during winter. I asked my hair dresser why, and he asked "You don't go out with wet hair, do you?". I looked back, and realised that I would wash my hair in the morning and blow dry, but as I didn't have much time I would just dry 70% and wrap a scarf around my neck and went out. Again, your hair is very fragile when it's wet. Any frictions would cause a damage to it. Dry your hair completely before you leave your house, or go to bed.

 Body care

  • Apply moisturiser on the butt.
 I cannot believe how people are unconcerned about their butt! You are sitting down like 10 hours a day (or more?) and your butt always rubs against chairs. This area tends to get dry as well, and the combination of frictions and dryness can cause pigmentation and rough skin. I scrub and moisturise my butt daily, to keep it like a baby's (TMI).


  • Leave the top part of your eyebrows as natural as possible.
I know you can go crazy pulling out your eyebrows. But do not touch the top part of your eyebrows, that way they look more natural. In other words, when the baby hairs on top of your eyebrows are completely gone, they look fake and old fashioned.

  • Make your eyebrows a little brighter than your hair colour.
This is common in Japan too, but apparently not so much in other countries. Blonde hair + dark eyebrows look very strange to me, but it might depend on each person. I personally don't like dark eyebrows with my bright hair colour, so I dye them every other week at home, and use an eyebrow mascara to colour them daily.

  • Blot before applying foundation
Apply a moisturiser, then blot with a tissue. Apply a primer, then blot again. You don't need any excess oil before applying foundation. Make sure your skin is completely oil-free, and then apply it. It prevents your makeup to slip off during the day, and make it last much longer.

There are the ones just came up in my head! Let me know what the beauty habits in your country are, on Twitter or Instagram!

P.S. I'm getting many responses saying "I don't agree" or "That's wrong", but there are just common things in Japan and obviously you have different habits in other countries. I am not claiming that you all should follow them, I'm just sharing how Japanese girls take care of ourselves, as Japan is tend to be one step ahead when it comes to beauty.


Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream

Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream £10.99
I thought I was over this "BB or CC or DD cream craze" that has been going on. But when I saw this CC cream in a sale back in July when Bourjois sadly left Japan, I couldn't resist only because I had heard loads of  British beauty bloggers raving about it. I wanted the shade ivory but it was sold out, so I picked up light beige, one shade darker.

 Despite mismatch of the shade (it's a tad too dark for my skin, but doesn't make me look like Oompa Loompa so it's all good), I must say I love this CC cream. I thought CC cream is more like a primer than foundation, but this is definitely like foundation with a very sheer and natural coverage. I have no problem going to a coffee shop or supermarket near my house without foundation on my day off, as my skin is in a very good condition lately, but it's good to have a light coverage CC cream in hand. 

It doesn't cover my dark circles, but does cover everything else. Pigmentation around my nose and tiny dark spots are gone in a second once it's applied. And what I love the most about this CC cream is that it makes my skin look super healthy, moisturised, plumped and flawless. I think my husband would believe me if I apply this and say I'm not wearing any makeup. It's that natural, yet it does even out the skin tone perfectly. 

It's so sad Bourjois left Japan, as they have amazing products such as Healthy Mix, the CC eye cream concealer, Chocolate bronzer, nail polishes, lipsticks...basically everything they make is good quality yet affordable. I am glad feelunique annd ASOS carry their products at least. Now all I need to do is to wish Yen gets stronger as it used to be, so that I can shop.


Apology and a bit about my holiday

I am back, finally! The reason why I was gone was 1) I was on holiday at the beginning of September 2) I came back, being busy with work 3) Then I lost my internet connection at home and I couldn't bring my big old heavy laptop to the Starbucks which is a few stations away to blog. But today my internet is back on and I am so happy that I can blog again because I have some ideas in my head ;)

I am so sorry that I'm not a reliable and stable blogger, I blog and stop consistently which I need to stop doing. I want to make my blog a stable one (like my Japanese one, that at least one post would go up per day) and I will work on it. Another thing I want to apologise about is that I haven't been able to get back to all the comments you left here. I decided to close down the comment section for a while, because I feel too bad not to be able to reply to all of them. Instead, you can email me through the mail form, or tweet me or leave a comment on my Instagram!

Let me write a little bit about my holiday. We went to Okinawa this year, and chose to stay at Marriott as we found a very good deal.

The top floor hotel suite was very nice. My favourite was definitely the bathroom, but it doesn't look as good in photos but I took a bath every morning to relax and I couldn't stop wishing to have a big bathroom like that in my own house. But the reality is, the bathroom must be much bigger than my own room.

They had THANN body care and hair care minis in their bathroom! The scent was absolutely divine and we were hooked. Now I know what I will get for Christmas for my husband.

The hotel has this huge pool divided in 4 sections. Kids' pool, normal pool, deeper pool and water-slide pool. The sunset from the jacuzzi was amazing. Though there was a cockroach sneaking around.

The beaches in Okinawa were not as good as the ones in Ishigaki island (which belongs to Okinawa but much smaller) but still we went to some wicked beaches! The last day was pretty sunny and hot as I like it ;)

Though it wasn't a relaxing nor refreshing holiday (don't ask), when I think back, I enjoyed it and appreciate the fact I was taken to such beautiful places. I realised that I liked the sound of ocean more than I thought I did, and I kind of had enough of my life in Tokyo, one of the most busiest and stressful cities in the world. For the first time in my life, I considered living in the countryside in the future when I have kids and dogs. My life has been on pending kind of, but I can dream whatever I want!

So, that's how I said goodbye to the summer. 

Now, hello winter, I hate you!