Hall of Shame: Suncut UV Protect Spray Water-Resistant Sunscreen

The latest member of the sunscreen hall of shame? Suncut UV Protect SPF 50+ PA ++++ spray. It’s marketed as sweat- and water-proof. Now … let me preface this by saying, just like with the Missha sunscreen, the language I used is a bit strong. This is not a bad sunscreen, it’s just not good for me. Why? Read on …  Continue reading “Hall of Shame: Suncut UV Protect Spray Water-Resistant Sunscreen”

New Body Spray: Summer in a Bottle

I’m not a big perfume person (luckily I suppose, as Japan is a bit scent averse on the whole). There are a few scents though, that I am a sucker for: much of the Philosophy line of perfumes (so light! So fresh! So clean!), the scent of the beach (well, let’s clarify and say the Okinawa beach in summer, not the fishy-briny Alaska beach), and peaches. Imagine my happiness when I saw Philosophy launched their limited edition summer fragrance this year and it was a beach version of their regular Pure Grace perfume.  And even better, for me anyway, is that they had a body spray version as well (they’re usually even lighter in scent than regular perfumes).

I’ve also really been on a tropical scent kick, perhaps at least partly because we’re still waiting for summer to reach Okinawa. Seriously, we should be sweating our balls off by now but instead, we’re trying not to drown on the walk to the car. After using a sample of Brazilian Bum Bum body cream a while back (yes, that really is the ridiculous name of that product) and loving the scent, I looked at the product on Sephora to buy. Aaaaand it was $45 for a tub … that was a hard pass. That was a while ago, but this year, they launched the same fragrance in a body spray. OMG, get in my cart!

Continue reading “New Body Spray: Summer in a Bottle”

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: Laneige BB Cushion Foundation Whitening

Cushion foundations: do you like them? Have you tried them? Well, if you aren’t in a pretty specific range of skin tones, you likely haven’t tried them as most companies are not particularly inclusive. This trend  stemmed from Asia and, well, skin tones don’t vary in Asia the way they do in North America. (Though … thanks to the amazing Lisa Eldridge, makeup artist extraordinaire and the director of Lancome, Lancome does offer a highly rated cushion that can fit almost every skin tone on the planet). Two Korean cosmetic companies, Missha and Laneige, have started widely marketing their products in the U.S. and their cushion lines, while not at Lancome’s level of shade range, have a lot more options than most.

If you are very fair, like me, you will find that almost all cushions, foundations, BB creams, etc. skew too dark and/or have a poor fit in undertone for you in Asia. Laneige (and Missha) are different: I got a very good match from the lightest shade they had at a duty free shop in Taipei’s international airport last month. In fact, being an unusual skin tone for the region, while many other colors looked pretty tapped out, there were loads of packs of these cushions left in my shade (since when does that happen?!?). Continue reading “Mini Review: Laneige BB Cushion Foundation Whitening”

Bronzer Battle: Which Bronzer is Best for the Fairest of the Fair?

My first time using bronzer (my gateway experience?) was getting my makeup done at a Chanel counter inside of Nordstrom. Or, shall I say, my first time being denied bronzer. It was springtime and corals and minty greens were all over the store, and makeup trends were equally fresh and bronzy (did I just describe almost every spring in any store?). I’m pretty sure my sisters were there, who do not share my glow-in-the-dark complexion, and they were getting bronzed and beautified. I was so excited when it was my turn, just to hear the consultant tell me she was skipping bronzer because it would look muddy on me.

Such heartbreak. I don’t even tan, and now I can’t use fake tan, either? Oh cruel, cruel world, why do you play me like this? In retrospect, I’m glad she saved me from becoming a muddy mess from the bronzer, because Chanel or not, many (most) bronzer shades will indeed make you look like, as my grandma always said, like you were sucking on the wrong end of a pig. Continue reading “Bronzer Battle: Which Bronzer is Best for the Fairest of the Fair?”