Got 5 o’clock Shadow? Or, (Women’s) Face Shaving For Dummies

Waxing, plucking, threading, trimming, and even depilatories and bleach are all women’s facial hair remedies I grew up reading about in fashion magazines (and/or watching my mom do). These stories were published and republished endlessly, probably because while beards are currently having a hipster moment for men, they have never had a hipster moment for women. (Or have they?) Anyway, the gold standard for body hair removal, shaving, was never, ever mentioned for the face. Imagine my surprise when, moving to Japan in my 30s, I encountered a blog piece talking about women shaving their faces here. Like, not just an upper lip or chin or wherever errant hairs may have sprouted … face shaving the entire face (excluding brows, of course). But … why? Continue reading “Got 5 o’clock Shadow? Or, (Women’s) Face Shaving For Dummies”

Mini Review: K-Palette 1 Day Tattoo Lip Oil

I was perusing the beauty section of a local Aeon department store recently with some out-of-town family visiting when I saw a pop-up display for a product I hadn’t seen before: a K-palette lip tint, called 1 Day Tattoo Lasting Lip Tint, which is from a brand that happens to make the best eyeliner pen ever. (Side note, if you like winged liner even a little, and want all-day wear with no smudging, that’s something you need to buy like yesterday).

K-palette lip tint comes in a handful of colors and has the same long-lasting promises on the package that the ridiculously good eyeliner pen does, so my mom and I both picked one up (I believe the price point was similar to the eyeliner, a little over 1000 yen).

Did we try it on in the car? Of course we did. Who doesn’t? Continue reading “Mini Review: K-Palette 1 Day Tattoo Lip Oil”

Cosme Shopping: What to buy when you’re in Japan

We’re spoiled now in the age of e-commerce and especially Amazon … most of the world is at our fingertips, ready to buy with just a credit card number and a click. Still, that convenience can come at a price (or not at all). Often imported items, thanks to duty and availability, come at a big price increase. Other times, lesser-known items aren’t available outside their home country at all. So a savvy beauty shopper (ahem, you) will take advantage of their travels, stocking up on the best their destination has to offer. And here, my humble opinion of some of the best cosme shopping that Japan has to offer.

Continue reading “Cosme Shopping: What to buy when you’re in Japan”

Mini Review: Kate Cream Blush

Today we’re talking about cream blush, and specifically about one from Kate. Kate is a drugstore brand readily available in Japan (but possibly not so easy to find outside of the country). Kate cream blush also boasts an SPF of 20 (but … why?) and comes in two colors: bright fuchsia and red.

I’ve talked recently about my love for cream blush, and this one has proved itself worthy of my small but mighty cream blush arsenal. It comes in a small and sleek black plastic case. I originally went looking for the cult bargain favorite from Canmake, but the shade I wanted wasn’t in stock and so I moseyed on.

After trying a few different models on for size on the back of my hand, I made it to the Kate display. The color from the Kate cream blush testers was super pretty and super believable, like my true blushing shade (OK, my true beet red shade) and had a faint and healthy luster (no glitter). It was also about 800 yen ($7.50 USD) … SOLD.

kate cream blush
Here’s ‘classy pink’ (finally! I’m classy! Or at least my blush is) swatted and sheered out.

At home, I was curious to see how it behaved over foundation and how long it lasted. On both fronts, it performed well. It didn’t disturb any base makeup I applied it over. And it lasts pretty admirably … about 8 hours of wear is what I’ve seen so far. Better than most drugstore blushes (and some department store ones as well).

The downside is Kate cream blush only comes in two shades … but the upside, both shades are very natural “blushing” shades for a wide range of skin tones in my opinion … and they build well. It’s easy to tap in a very sheer layer, and you can also build up the color if you’re looking for a more dramatic blush.

Overall … I would definitely recommend this blush. I have an oilier skin type recently, and I don’t have issues with it “sliding off,” and drier skins always benefit from cream blush. It’s win-win.

kate cream blush

Recommending Products and Tourist Shopping: the Conundrum

I am lucky to have houseguests right now; two family members are visiting us here in Japan from the U.S. One has been here before, and one has not. For any of you who have hosted houseguests from another city (probably everyone?), you know what it’s like to try and remember what it’s like to be new in your city so you can show your guests the best it has to offer in the limited amount of time they have. This was a truism in Alaska, and it definitely is here in Japan. Recommending products, when friends ask, reminds me a lot of this process.

Does this seem weird? Maybe. It’s true though. When I have guests come to town, I try and tailor activity ideas to not just what I consider the “best” my home has to offer, but to their interests and abilities. Also, I know how expensive travel can get, and I always try hard to not break the bank on the activities and restaurants we do. Recommending products is much the same. I try hard to evaluate the friend asking’s lifestyle and skin type, how comfortable they are wearing cosmetics if it’s a makeup question, and also price. Continue reading “Recommending Products and Tourist Shopping: the Conundrum”