Ohaiyo! I’m currently suffering from extreme withdrawal symptoms after returning from my week-long trip to the land of konbini onigiri and ume candy. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to join my friend Brandon (aka #1 weaboo) in his snacks haul videos so I thought I’d share my humble (no, really) beauty haul from Japan instead.
But first, my awesome nerd unicorns, without whom the trip would not have been as interesting, fun, or delicious.
And also the biggest bottle I’ve ever seen of my favourite kakipi because I’m hungry now. Really regretting not getting this… imagine all the possibilities!!!! *pour kakipi down throat*
Ahem. Okay. Here we go. I’ve split the haul into nails, lashes, sheet masks, UV pacts, and random character goodies.
I missed out on Loft on my first trip to Japan a year ago, and boy, I was so overwhelmed on my first visit. It is INSANE, I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s like Tokyu Hands, except ten times better. I can’t even describe it properly because I don’t think I’ve really completely covered it (a full day might suffice), but maybe this would help illustrate the awesomeness of this magical place. I don’t usually buy nail stuff, but an accidental wander into Loft’s nail aisle used up my entire half hour there. I didn’t even get to see anything else! But it was so worth it.
DIY gel kits are super popular in Japan now. And by popular, I don’t mean wonky dusty UV lamps and nail colours by the original Gelish brand. The Japanese have taken it to the next level with peel off gel nails, one-step gel varnishes (no base and top coats, yo!), and freaking PORTABLE hand held LED lights.
I got this Jelly Nail set, yes, 100% because of the packaging, but it was actually quite affordable compared to what you get in Singapore. This is about 8,000 yen, which is roughly S$90 and includes remover, the amazing LED light that looks like a torchlight, top/base jelly coats, and a brush. I did some research and apparently Jelly Nail is one of the brands that feature non-sanding, non-wiping application, which you’ll know is a godsend if you have ever attempted gel nails at home.
The colours I got. I actually didn’t realise all of them (except for Crystal Sugar) were from the matte collection.
Then I grabbed some of the one-step colours from various brands too. Can’t wait to try these out!
Think I went a little mad with these. I’ve stopped using falsies for a while, then a couple of weeks ago I picked up a set of Miche Bloomin’ brown eyelashes I got on my first trip. My gosh, they were so natural and comfortable that for once, I forgot that I even had lashes on. Even better than my favourite Dolly Wink! And since they cost S$19.90 here and 1,000 yen over there, I got six sets of four, 24 pairs! Also a bunch of DUP lashes to try. I’ve heard good things about them, but never had the chance to try because I was so loyal to Dolly Wink. Oh, fool.
Dramatic lashes from Shiseido. Just to try. *movie voice* How WILL it fare against drugstore favourites? Watch this space!
I didn’t go crazy, because I literally have cartons of sheet masks to go through before I can get any more. All of these are ones I’ve been wanting to try. Pure Smile bee venom and camellia, Lu Lu Lun (ziplocked pack of six in an unknown flavour), and a My Melody milk face pack of two. Also included on the top left corner is a pack of cooling sheets to soothe sore muscles.
This bulk packaging is really popular now too, but I didn’t fancy the whole idea of it after some reviews said that it was hard to remove one sheet from the pack every time you want to mask. I tried out a bumper pack of Hada Labo’s sheet masks on my first night in Kyoto, and it wasn’t too hard to peel individual pieces off so I’m giving this another try. They sell in packs of 100s too!
Really love all the Pure Smile deco masks! This sugar skull one also glows in the dark.
I had the sunscreen conundrum on my mind when I bought these. For the longest time, I’ve been worrying about the need to reapply sunscreen during the day, which is really quite impossible if you have *ahem*an hour’s worth of *ahem* makeup on. Sunscreen mists are really not that efficient, because you need to spray for like, two minutes, to get the complete SPF.
Then someone suggest UV compacts! They’re essentially pressed/loose powder that you use to touch up, but pack a ton of SPF in them as well. I’m currently trying out the Shigaisen Yohou pressed powder, the one on the right with SPF50+ PA++++. Loving it so far.
One of my favourite things to look out for in Japan is special, limited, or seasonal edition items. Especially for Hello Kitty, because the only feline I’m not afraid of partners with everything from gum to cookies to mascara.
Clockwise from top left: Mascara, face foaming net, DUP eyelashes fixer ex, face masks, and Pure Smile point pads.
I got the non-kitty version a while back when I was in Bangkok, but I haven’t tried them out yet.
Just in case *touch wood* the haze comes back. I’ll be armed with kitty faces!!!
Other than cosmetics, I didn’t buy much character merchandise this time around. Maybe I’m #adulting.
From left: Rapunzel nail butter, Hello Kitty x Yuzu-yu hair oil mist, Dasoda x Le Petit Prince mascara and eyeliner set, Laline x Hello Kitty and Little Miss Hug shower oil, and Yuskin lip cream.
Only bought this because the original Yuzu-yu hair oil is a Cosme #1. In case you didn’t know, Cosme is a chain of beauty stores in Japan, and they have a relatively reputable bestseller chart updated every week in each category. I’ve discovered many awesome brands I wouldn’t have known about thanks to this chart, so pretty much anything with a Cosme sticker on it gets a chance with me.
Some of the stuff that didn’t fit into above categories: Oshima Tsubaki Camellia hair oil (in case the No. 1 isn’t a dead giveaway, this is quite an iconic beauty product in Japan), body sunscreen and a priming base. Got the last two after trying them out and I must say, the Japanese really excels in making things that should be sticky feathery-light!
See? Another Cosme #1! This body SPF is unbelievably light and absorbs quickly.
Cheesecake and cookies from Shiseido Parlour. Before I tried these out last year, I thought it was just another brand gimmick and that it would be terribly medicore. But most of the sweets you get from Shiseido are just about as good as their famous cheesecakes. They’ve also revamped the packaging and branding, adding lots of pretty collectible tins to their collection.
Hello Kitty USB humidifier and talking Gudetama. I use the humidifier daily at work now, and my colleagues always think I’m vaping in the office. Haha.
My biggest achievement!!!! Nissin cup noodles are just amazing in Japan, and they have the best flavours. This Chili Tomato made me gain 2kg last year, so I controlled myself and hauled them back instead this time. Now I just have to ration myself…
Mentai pasta flavour, haven’t tried yet.
Brandon’s favourite Cheese Curry flavour, which is now a limited edition flavour. We got these in Kyoto because they can’t be found in Tokyo anymore. Tried out the curry flavour the other day and it had POTATOES. IN THE CUP NOODLES.
I also got an iPad Mini 4 (cheaper than in SG!) and a Tamagotchi. Which is why these cup noodles are going to come in very handy…
Reviews coming up: my beloved Whamisaaaaaa <3