Saturday, 16 August 2014

Japanese Skincare Review: Shigaisen Yohou UV Base Make Keep 50+ PA++++

Hello my dear ones,

How are you all doing? Remember as you're reading this post I'll be moving around Kyoto or heading over to Seoul so answers to any comments will be a lot later than usual! Should be back around the 23rd August :)

Today I want to share with you an amazing product that I found & tested and you all deserve to know about it especially now that we are in the midst of summer! I was having a talk with my beloved Filomena from Filosophie! and she asked me about sunscreen lotions and powders since Japan has a huge market when it comes to harming UV rays. I was not really interested in sunscreen before but somehow our conversations sparked an interest in me and while I was looking for products for her I was picking up some for myself. And boy, am I excited for this review!

What I am going to talk about it today is the UV Base Make Keep with SPF 50+ amd PA++++ (that's a lot of + you can get out there!) Of course, the packaging kind of cought my eye and especially the magic number of "50+". As you all may know I am extremely pale with having the palest shade in almost every foundation (MAC NC15) so my skin is very very sensitive when it comes to getting harmed by the sun and I burn extremely easy if I don't engage in counter measures.

I already talked it in my latest blog post about cultural differences and beauty ideals; In Europe and especially in Germany the general beauty ideal is to have tanned skin because it is associated with health. I have always been the "black sheep" and always liked my pale skin tone, I never really cared about getting a tan (Also, my skin does not tan. It just refuses to, so I won't force it.) I personally know a lot about how harmful the sun can be to our skin exposed on a daily basis and I think one of the main causes for Europeans looking a lot older than Asians from certain years on is tanning and taking no precautions when it comes to that. 

Seriously, taking care of your skin and making sure that it is not damaged should be common knowledge but only a few people in Germany take that seriously, at least from the people I have met. (I don't know how often I tried to convince my cousin that her heavy tanning is not healthy when on vacation... yes Jacky, I am talking about you and you know it! :P )


So cute yet kind of elegant packaging and no matter what everyone tells you: Packaging. Is. Important.

So this is a highly sun-protective make-up base that, as the name indicates, is used before applying make-up. I had my doubts about this but my curiosity won above all doubts. As you all know I have blemished & acne-prone skin and usually sunscreen is so rich that it breaks me out even more. (BTW, I highly recommend to only use sunscreen that is suitable for face use, especially if you plan to put make-up on top of that.) It turned so incredibly hot these last days and the sun is burning down that I am very happy I got this in advance!

Upon application this looks tinted but actually the beige color is dissolving pretty soon leaving nothing but your skin. It does not make your face any whiter or leave a white cast; it dries very fast (less than 30 seconds) and leaves the skin with a very nice finish that looks natural and not even the tiniest greasy (which was my main concern.) Application example:


Sorry for the bad lighting, I hate the light in my dorm room :( Hope the next one is better! 

As you can see, the cream appears to have a white/beige/pinkish color but it completely dissolves, leaving just a white cast for some 10-20 seconds until it is completely dried up. After application my face feels very even and smooth and doesn't look the tiniest bit greasy which of course is great for a make-up base :)

The texture of the base is not light and not thick; somewhere in between. It is a bit more thick than a regular moisturizer which is due to the heavy sunscreen I think. However, this doesn't feel heavy on my skin at all, I love the feeling it gives me. It also has a very unique, sweet smell which is not too overwhelming. As a plus, I used this base for 1-2 weeks now whenever I went out and didn't experience any breakouts so this might be safe for acne! (Of course, this can -as always- differ individually)

Would I repurchase again? Definite YES. I love this make-up base and highly recommend this product, so far only good experiences. Love that is has high SPF and PA which is not true with every product. I feel a lot safer with this going outside and feel very well protected. It also works like a charm as a make-up base and dries quickly. Love everything about it.

Do you always protect your skin from the sun? How about your country? If you know any other good products I always gladly take recommendations :)

Have a nice day & take care!

Sam

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Arrival in Seoul!

My dear readers,

If you read this blog post then that means that I arrived sound and safely in Seoul, South Korea! It has been an incredible hard time for me. I am in general a very sensitive person (funnily, most people wouldn't think that because I always appear so tough and loud but seriously, I am as soft as a plush alpaca.) so the whole thing stressed me out a lot. One week before my move I broke out everywhere in my face, I got a lip infection that I always get when I am under a lot of pressure, I developed incredible back pain (which also happened back when I moved from Bonn to Berlin - moving cities or countries just stresses me the most.) and so on.

I originally wanted to travel to Kyoto and Osaka but due to the quite strong Taifun I decided it would be better to stay home - would not have been that much fun in the pouring rain and storm anyway. I'm pretty sure my best friend and I will make it together to Kyoto somewhen in the future :)



But enough about Japan, let's talk about Korea! FINALLY KOREA! I have never been to Korea before and my knowledge about Korea is close to zero compared to my detailed knowledge of Japan (well, I studied Japanese Studies for 4 years so that's expected.) I know some random things and a bit of history and society of course, but in general Korea is really completely new territory for me. I don't even really speak Korean, my Korean is very very bad. This will be so difficult, to switch from "I can say anything without thinking" in Japanese (which really took me a long time to get to that level) to "OMG I don't even know the words nor the grammar I have no idea I'll just point at it with my finger" Korean. I will manage, somehow. I also bought these beauties at duty-free (my first ever buy at duty-free! I had some 6000Yen left and my mom said I should spend it all because its not enough for money exchange harrr.) So here's what I got!


Both were 2200Yen which I found to be a good deal; I have read good reviews about the Clinique make-up remover (and to be honest, I use the same forever (like honestly, 10 years maybe.) so it was def. time for a change) and I wanted to try out a Shu Uemura cleansing oil for foreeeever. Read so much good things about it and the sweet Japanese lady recommended this for my kind of skin. We'll see, I'm excited how this will work.

Just wanted to let you all know that I arrived sound & safe as some of you were wishing for my safety, thank you so much lovelies! I am off now to have a quality week with my boyfriend who flew 9000km from Germany to see me <3 I still have one or two posts prepared for you so you'll have something to read while I'm gone :)

Wish you all the best & talk to you soon!

Sam

Monday, 11 August 2014

Korean Skincare Wishlist

Hello my dear ones,

How are you all doing? I have to say things got rather awry for my at the moment. I moved out of the dorm on Friday which was suuuuch a long progress it took me forever and it was SO hot I was almost dying. After carrying my luggage across campus I was nearly dying out of back pain (remember I had a hermiated disk one year ago? Yeah. I still got problems, especially when I need to carry heavy things :( I have to work out more..) So I decided to not take the 9+ hours night bus to Kyoto but take the Shinkansen instead. However, my motivation dropped as my back pain increased and the friend I wanted to visit isn't even there (thanks for that... love when you can count on people.) and there is heavy taifun action outside. So I decided to cancel Kyoto altogether and go directly to Osaka as it would not be much fun if I am in pain and I didn't really have much motivation to go alone to be honest.


So! That's why I am still here and blogging. I will very very soon set foot on Korea (I am very hopeful now that there is taifun there will not be another one in 2 days *knock on wood*) I am already very excited to go and I am especially excited to buy aaaall the skincare products that I can afford. With that being sad I have a little list in my head with products that I really look forward to try out and I thought why not share with my readers? :)
















These are the products I am most excited about at the moment but that may change as soon as I really set foot in Korea and see whatelse they might have :D I wanna try out a Korean skincare routine (you know, the one that has a zillion steps) so that means introducing products slowly so the skin can get used to it. I recently started to use a toner (my very first one at the age of 25; toners are just really not popular in Germany so I never felt the need to..I use the Muji Whitening Toning Water in Light which works pretty good for me.)

First thing I want to get my hands on is an oil cleanser because Koreans are crazy about it and I read that it seems to work overall very good for people who have breakouts so definitely try one; I am most interested in the Black Sugar Oil Cleanser from Skin Food (because I love this brand and it hasn't let me down yet) or one from The Face Shop which I have heard very good things about. Next item to introduce would be a cream/moisturizer because I am running out of mine and just need a new one. I'd then like to try out serums that are SO famous in Korea and essences but that would be later after my skin adjusted to the new products, I am certainly not trying out 6 new things all at once (oh, the waiting will be so hard..)

As for the Mizon AHA toner & serum you see here; I read that these are really good against breakouts so if I can get my hands on those I will definitely try them out; however I'd like to first use up my Muji toner (I bought a small 50ml bottle) up (or maybe, I can use the Muji toner in the morning since it is so incredibly light & mattifying and the other one in the night because AHA & BHA's are exfoliating PM use might be best.)

As you can see I am putting a lot of thought into this as of late and I am educating myself a lot about how to correctly clean/wash your face gently etc because my skin is still not calmed down (although at the moment, with all the moving stress/going to Korea that is no surprise.)

Do you use Korean skincare? Do you have favorites or maybe a favorite brand? If you have recommendations, especially for troubled skin, please let me kow :)

Take care & lots of love,

Sam

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Japanese Skincare Review: AHA Gel Cleansing

Good evening everybody,

I am currently in the work of pre-writing some blogposts for you since I will be leaving my dorm soon and having some vacation time in Kyoto and Seoul with my boyfriend OMG SO EXCITED. I still can't really grasp that he will really be there, in Seoul together with me this is so cool! Definitely better than coming home after half the journey (which I did the last time but it was too expensive and too stressful for me so he has to come visit me instead this time.)

I have tons of products to review but will try to mix it a little bit with other stuff so that hopefully it will not get too boring! However could be some reviews in a row if I don't have enough material I hope you forgive me :) Once I am settled in Korea it will be much more exciting then, so I can share my new -hopeful- happiness.

Before I converted to the Shiseido Perfect Whip cleaner (for which a review will shortly follow but I wanted to keep the timeline) I ran out of the cleanser that I used for the past year which had been La Roche Posay Effaclar. I really liked this cleanser a lot and would probably still repurchase it but it is double the price here than back in Germany so.... since I am in one of the skin care countries on the globe ever, I went on the search and fell upon this cleanser: AHA Gel Cleansing.

(OMG while I typed this I wanted to drink a sip of tea and I dropped my laptop down the bed and even splashed some tea over it to make it worse O_____O  However, my laptop doesn't have a scratch and works perfectly SO RELIEVED. I am the most clumsiest person ever, I was in quite a shock for a minute or two...) And my bed is wet. At 3AM. Great.

So why this cleanser, despite the obvious lack of cute packaging or big brand names? I originally wanted another one but I couldn't find it. Since I am still having trouble with hormonal acne I wanted to try out an AHA cleanser to exfoliate my skin and help with my troubles; it says skin renewal on the bottom. (Also, my cleanser from La Roche-Posay was a gel type and that worked just fine for me.)

For those of you who don't know (I didn't know before): AHA are a kind of chemical exfoliants that you can use daily (although I would not recommend you to do so, especially if you have sensitive/dry/acne-prone skin, I'd stick to maybe 2 or 3 times a week.) They are making your face photosensitive so I am recommending to use these kind of cleaners/exfoliants only at PM time (BHA are a bit more gentle). Also, I personally think most AHA/BHA cleansers are doing a good at exfoliation and should be treated as such: As exfoliator and not as a daily wash as I think it's too harsh for most skins.

It has quite a thick gel texture that more or less stays the same throughout the cleansing process, doesn't turn into foam or anything. It says on the package to be grapefruit-based but has a very heavy sweet smell to it - not like grapefruit, more like chewing gum or something. I don't really like the scent but it also doesn't put me off.

Wanna know what this cleanser did for me? :)


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