Gallipoli – 2016
Gallipoli – 2016
The reclining Buddha in Wat Pho (Bangkok) is impressive, but the details on his feet is what amazed me the most.
Bangkok – 2014
I have that thing for front porches, mostly when they are Italian, pink and old.
Puglia – 2016
Not writing beauty posts often, actually I have only done it once before, but I couldn’t not write this one.
Asia is known to have some of the best skincare and cosmetic products. Japan in particular is renowned among beauty-lovers (yours, truly) for it’s very high-quality, yet affordable, cosmetics. For a beauty product addict like me, it was heaven! I visited the drugstores about 4 times. The first 2 times I found it really intimidating and rushed out – with mountains of products, their drugstores are overwhelming if you don’t know what you are looking for. A few moons later and after watching about 10 YouTube videos and reading a plethora of articles, I had a list and I was ready! Japanese drugstores here I come!
Once in and armed with a list and a credit card, I faced another issue – packaging! Bloggers and vloggers will talk a lot about Asian beauty products but they will often show you the actual product, not the box which contains it, and some time the difference is huge.
So in this post you will find a list of skincare and cosmetic products I recommend buying in Japan, with a picture of the packaging when needed. I also tried to find a link to the products when I could find it.
Another tip, you can buy all cosmetics tax-free as long as you don’t open the bags before leaving the country. Great way to spend more!… I mean save more!
1 – Sunscreens, sunscreens, sunscreens
Japanese women look ridiculously young, I know it is mainly thanks to genetics but they do wear sunscreen religiously. The minimum SPF available is 50+ in most shops!
I myself wear sunscreen as a day cream everyday, so I thought I would try some that are not available in Europe. I went for the Biore Aqua Rich Watery Essence which is a bestseller there and came highly recommended by Gothamista, who I adore. I also got a couple of the Biore mists which will be useful to have at my desk for lunch breaks this summer. My future self will thank me in 20 years.
2 – Eye-makeup
One thing Japanese are good at is eye makeup. Japanese love a very thin eyeliner and very long lashes, a look right up my street!
I have hooded eyelids which means my makeup constantly crease or smudge, and with the promise of smudge-proof everything I had to get a few products. So I went for the Dolly Wink eyeliner which is SO GOOD I bought a second one on my last day in Japan. I also got a Avance lash serum (because who doesn’t like long lashes?) and a Shiseido lash curler (Shiseido is a lot cheaper in Japan)
3 – Masks
An obvious one! Like in South Korea, Japan has a lot of sheet-masks on offer. I got the pink LuLuLun which has excellent reviews and is a bestseller. I also got some Kose ones with the ‘top 1 bestseller’ logo.
I also saw the Black GelPack Materic mask and had to have it! It’s black, sticky and promise to leave your pores squeaky clean.
4 – Nail clippers
Wait, did she just said nail clippers? Yep!
For some reason nail clippers are excellent quality in Japan so I bought a few. I have to say, they feel very sturdy and the blades are really sharp, it doesn’t break the nails instead of cutting them.
5 – Eye drops
If it’s good enough for Lily Aldridge it’s good enough for me! I heard about the notorious ‘minty’ Japanese eye drops. People describe the feeling they give as a third-degree burn followed by the clearest vision.
I can attest that the third degree burn feeling is a massive exaggeration. Yes it feels very cooling, yes you will tear-up for 30 seconds, but it really isn’t that painful. I got two types, a normal one and a contact lenses friendly one (did I tell you that I am completely blind?). After the first 30 seconds, the relief feeling kicks off and it is amazing! Your eyes feel fresh and moist and they look whiter than usual. My new best friend to deal with a sleepless night!
6 – AHA
AHA is great to gently exfoliate the skin. As an alternative to an aggressive physical scrub, I bought the BC AHA soap and the Rosette AHA face mask/scrub. They should be perfect to peel off my winter skin!
7 – Kose Medicated Sekkisei
I heard very good things about that serum, a best seller in Japan. With summer around the corner, I thought I could do with a light serum/moisturiser which is supposed to make me look flawless.
8 – Lip stains
A big trend in Japan is the ‘lollipop lip stain’ effect. Young women have a little hint of colour on their lips just like after sucking on a lollipop. It’s a cute (‘kawaii’) and natural look, I liked it and I bought it!
9 – Camellia oil
A best seller in Japan and supposed to be great for hair. I hope it will tame my frizzy hair.
10 – Oily skin little helpers
Combination skin means mid-day greasy shine, a problem Japanese people are familiar with. To help tame my mid-day ‘glow’ I bought some Shiseido blotting papers (once again, MUCH cheaper there) and a nose primer, you read that right, a primer dedicated to the nose area.
11 – Very random things
Japanese drugstores are full of very random surprises! You can find detox masks for the bottom of your feet for instance (yep). My feet being fine, I went for a warming lavender eye mask, because why not?
I wanted to buy many more things but my bank account didn’t let me, so for now, here are my 11 Japanese must-buys! Until next time Japan!
Similar to the Grand Canyon, but smaller and greener.
South Africa – 2011
The reflection of the sun against the towers makes the whole place even warmer.
Dubai – 2014
White drape, white walls, colourful roof.
Ostuni – 2016
The colour of the Mediterranean in Otranto is pure bliss to look at.
Otranto – 2016
Leave the rat race behind and head to the hills for a breath of fresh air.
Lake District (Cumbria) – 2014
On the second day of a long weekend in Rome, head to the Vatican. A true architectural wonder and a place filled with masterpieces.
The Vatican’s queue is notoriously long and bad, so make sure to beat it by ordering your tickets online. I got ours there and we walked pass the 500-meters long queue and went straight in there with very little wait at security.
The place is huge and filled with pieces you probably first saw in your history books at school.
‘Ohhhhh’ and ‘Ahhhh’ in the Sistine chapel (but don’t take any pictures, you’ll be told off! Trust me, I tried!).
Wander for a couple of hours and end your visit in the huge Basilica St Pietro.
Once out, head toward Piazza del Popolo, on the way you will find plenty of delis and bakeries where you can find delicious sandwiches.
On Piazza del Popolo grab a gelato and people watch.
Rome is a very lively city and Piazza del Popolo a great place to see it happen.
Done with your gelato? Good! Now let’s walk it off! Head uphill to the Villa Borghese park, wander along the cypress trees alleys and enjoy the views of Rome’s roofs.
Have a siesta on the grass and when it gets closer to ‘Aperol o’clock’ head down back into the city via the Spanish Steps and take a sit at a terrace for an aperitivo and more people watching.
End the day with a dish of pasta or a delicious pizza and go to bed for some sun filled dreams.
Part 1 of our weekend in Rome is here!