Season’s greetings everyone!
It has been a while since I last posted, and today I thought: why not share with everyone my favourite beauty items in 2016?
You can call it a year in review (beauty/skincare wise), and if some of you are still looking for that last minute Christmas gift, maybe this post can be of some help.
All these products are relatively inexpensive and work well – in my humble opinion. I will be talking briefly about my thoughts and usage experience with them, hopefully it helps if you are considering to try some of these items.
Find out more! 🙂
From left to right: Nameraka Honpo Isoburafon toner & emulsion, Wild Harvestcare Pure Emu Oil (with lavender essential oil), Loshi Horse Oil Cream
I first came across this brand while scouring the interwebs for Japanese drugstore holy grail products. About holy grail – I personally find the term superfluous and somewhat exaggerates the products’ advertised benefits. I prefer to call them “recommended products”, as opposed to “omg holy grail you need to get them NOW”.
So, back to the items. Namerakahonpo (pardon me if I’m not a 100% factual) – is by SANA, and is a range of skincare products derived from soymilk (isoflavone derivative, to be exact). This brand has consistently won top 3 in the Japanese Cosme awards and many would reckon it as a must-buy when visiting the country.
I got the emulsion and toner in Tokyo, about 980JPY each. There’s a whole rack dedicated to this brand. The product range is vast but I decided to start with the basics. You can expect something on shelf to address a particular skin concern.
The toner is 200ml, and is advertised to moisturise and provide supple soft skin that is hydrated, without any greasy or sticky sensation after application. The emulsion is 150ml, contains fermented soybean milk and intensively hydrates and soothes skin. Both products contain no artificial colorant and are unscented. Also if this helps, they do not contain mineral oil as well 🙂
PRO TIP: go for the refillable packs and decant them into your personal bottles. Not only do you help reduce waste and pack easier while travelling, you save a quite a bit. The refills are about 500JPY each before tax refund.
My experience: I’ve replaced this over my Laneige skincare line, and I’m sold. I like that there is zero fragrance, and the product is easily absorbed into my skin. After a period of use, my complexion is brighter, and skin more plump. I also noticed my face is not as oily as before, but am unsure if this is due to usage of the toner and emulsion.
I recommend these. With the price of one Laneige skin refiner/emulsion, I can probably buy a good 4-5 refill packs of namerakahonpo.
Not going to Japan any time soon? You can find these (at a higher price) in the local Tokyu Hands stores.
Moving on, I bought this pure emu oil infused with lavender essential oil during the Giftopia event. I’ve heard so many good things about emu oil, and wanted to give it a shot for my eczema without breaking the bank. This pump bottle costs SGD$32.90 on their website.
My experience: I have been using it daily for about 2 months now. While it doesn’t cure the eczema (I don’t expect it to), it helps to moisturise the irritated skin and keeps itching at bay. I use this on all dry areas (elbows, ankles, calluses) and it helps a lot on re-hydrating the parched skin. The pump nozzle also means I can dispense exactly how much product I need, and there’s no contamination of the product. The texture is lightweight, I don’t feel like an oil slick after application. Their products are also paraben/mineral oil free.
I will be repurchasing this, if you want to try emu oil, this is a good one to go for.
Next up, the Loshi Horse Oil Cream. Previously I reviewed the yellow tub of the horse oil moisture cream here. This was purchased for about 200JPY, compared to the tub’s price of 340JPY.
The difference? Texture (to me at least). The yellow tub’s texture is heavier and thicker while this squeeze tube’s product is lighter. Both are meant to be hydrating, and are unscented. The squeeze tube has a lesser capacity compared to the tub.
My experience: I read somewhere that this is meant to be a hand cream but I used it as an all-over moisturiser when I was in Tokyo during November. It was the first time I experienced 5 degree celsius weather, and my legs broke out in a cold rash. While I was at it, I carried this tube around and it was a great remedy for my parched hands and face.
I liked it so much, I bought a couple of tubes more. This is available locally at Watsons, but I am not sure what the price is.
From left to right: Ettusais Liquid Eyeliner WP, Colourpop Super Shock Cheek Birthday Suit, E.L.F. Lip Kiss Balm Bare Kiss
Nowadays I don’t use as much makeup as I used to, so it was easy to pick out my most reached for items. Before I forget, there are two items which I did not photograph. One is the SANA Pore Putty Pore Flat Veil which I reviewed previously. During my recent trip I had to run 3 drugstores before I could lay my hands on this. So from here you can guess it’s popularity. I still love this primer over all others I have used, and it really is affordable.
The other item is the Nightingale Amino Capsule Perfume hair treatment cream. I find this to be particularly useful after prolonged periods in places such as eateries. Sometimes I find that my hair reeks of food smells after a meal, and a quick massage of the product into my hair eliminates all smells, leaving a lingering fragrance in it’s place.
Here are the side by the side swatches for my favourite makeup items.
Eyeliner: The ettusais eyeliner is my all time favourite, I never fail to buy backups whenever I am in Japan. I like that the formula is smudge and rub resistant. I have oily hooded eyelids, so most products (especially gel/pencil liners) almost always migrate within 3 hours wear. With this waterproof formula, I can head out for a full day and only experience minimal migration when I am ready to take my makeup off. The swatch looks a little cakey as the particular pen I’m using is running out of juice.
Despite it’s staying power, the eyeliner ink can be easily removed with any makeup remover oil, or remover wipes. Love this stuff. Cost? 1000JPY (or about SGD$13) – I hear that Singapore’s Ettusais counters are being withdrawn, can anyone confirm?
Lip Balm: I reviewed three shades of this lip balm but as predicted, Bare Kiss is my favourite. I like the versatility of this shade: great for daily use. The formula is quite hydrating, and pigmentation is strong. Price is USD$2, and you can see I hardly dented to bullet even with daily usage.
Blush: I have so many colourpop blushes, Birthday Suit happens to be the one sitting in my pouch now. At just USD$8, this product has fantastic staying power and I like the creamish texture. I don’t think I need much introduction to Colourpop, I’m pretty sure almost everyone would have heard from them by now. Aside from Birthday suit, another favourite shade of mine is Holiday – a bright coral.
There you have it! My 2016 beauty picks. They work for me, cost relatively inexpensive and can easily be purchased. Is there anything that you feel I am missing out, or if you have any favourites to share? Hit the comments below! 🙂