I think I’m finally on the aft-end of recovering from that severe sinus infection– and I must say, I’ve never been so grateful for my newly-regained abilities to read text, to breathe clearly, and to smell!! Also, I’m glad the excruciating headaches/pressure is gone, of course~
But now I’m back, and with many reviews upcoming. For now, though, I’d like to give a shot at writing a HAUL post, given that I received my first ever order from amazon.jp a couple of days ago.
I have to say, I knew you could order globally from Japan’s version of Amazon before, but I had no idea that it would be as easy as it was?? First of all, you can change your website interface/layout setting to be in dual English/Japanese– which won’t translate the names or descriptions of products for you as they were input by the seller (if you’re like me, you can probably tell what you’re looking for by the image and reading some of the text, though, anyways), but it helps a heck of a lot in navigating the site!!
Second, a lot of the products (those which will ship to the USA) don’t even take 20 years to arrive like I thought they would– a reason I’d never ordered from there before (thinking I could wait just as long for the same thing and order from somewhere like ebay instead)– I placed the order for the items in this haul on 10/19, and received them 10/23– which was a pleasant surprise, I’d say.
Even though the shipping wasn’t cheap, I don’t think I paid as much as the usual, extreme DHL costs I do when I have to get things over quickly from China (which is like, a $50 minimum for the smallest parcel you can imagine). I’d honestly even consider getting a Japanese Prime account, considering it’s less than $40 a year.
Anyways, onto the products!
Here’s a family photo, not including the cheap+adorable tapestry and wood hanging rods I bought to hang on my wall that also came in the order with them [oh, now I need to include a pic of that too, it’s too cute not to:]
I’ve tried all of the products at least one, which means that it’s time for some individual photos + MINI-REVIEWS~! Follow the cut if you’re feeling curious– I’ll also be sharing some major news related to my own skincare journey at the end~
Sorry I haven’t written in a while– recent minor surgery, along with a severe sinus infection (which is blurring my vision to the point where it’s quite hard to type a draft on my laptop) have kept me somewhat occupied with simply getting by every day, not leaving much time to find a seasonal job or run a fun blog as I’d previously hoped I would be doing right around now.
But I’m forcing myself to get my head (quite literally) back in the game, because having sat around for the past 2+ weeks just trying to cope with pain has been excruciatingly boring, too, and I’m desperate to do something productive again for the first time in a while!!
Soo anyways, believe it or not, I’m not here to complain about how awful my life is, I’m here to review a body lotion by the Amore Pacific brand illi, from their Total Aging Care line. I’d already tried the Total Aging Care cleansing oil back when Fiddysnails gave it a rave review, and it was somewhat common around the r/asianbeauty community– so I already knew that I would love the smell of this lotion, barring the unforseen circumstance that the Total Aging Care line didn’t maintain consistent fragrancing among all of the products.
Thankfully, they smell more or less the same, as I’ll describe later, and it seems my dry, itchy shins (no mistake there, it’s not my entire legs, or even whole calves– just the fronts of my shins get extremely itchy and dry on occasion) have finally met their match.
Review tiiiiime…. now!
This was very much an impulse purchase, out of the curiosity to try a product offering both complete UV coverage (SPF 50+ PA++++) and the slight pinkish glowing tint of a makeup base.
Admittedly, I also had a strong desire to purchase something from the ebay seller Maco of Fictif-Nook. She is a Japanese-born expat (living out of the country) who has a rather unique selection compared to other Japanese goods sellers on eBay– but most importantly, makes it of the utmost importance to state her support for and desire to help those with disabilities and special needs. I was so touched and grateful (especially given the fact that in Japan, the stigma towards disability is exponentially worse than where I live in the US already, so she’s really unique in that regard!), that since I wanted to buy one cheap thing from her already, I threw this item and a tsubaki konjac sponge along in the order, too!
Even the exterior box of this item is pleasant and cute– at least in my opinion– so go ahead and follow the cut if you’d like to see how the product itself matches up to that presumption~
This is one of my absolute favorite daily use products which happens to be of general East-Asian origin– and one which I don’t believe we put nearly enough thought into, or due credit towards ones which are deserving: Deodorant!
Though I’m sure I’m far from the first to write one, I don’t know if I can recall ever having read a deodorant review before. As I was reflecting on what to write about today, though, it occurred to me that I had yet to apply my antiperspirant for the day– and when I remembered that the little bugger is from Taiwan, I realized I should seize the opportunity to bring this lesser-discussed topic of beauty and self-care to the table!
Now, I first bought this product as an impulse purchase because it was available for dirt cheap on sasa.com as I was assembling a haul on there, and I also happened to be in search of a deodorant– any deodorant– that wasn’t the sort of chalky stick that I’d been using since I was 11 or 12. After an incident at work in which one exploded in my backpack– covering everything I loved and regularly used in goopy chunks that then reeked of Dove Cucumber Mint for months– I was hell-bent on swearing off any kind of deodorant that could explode in such a horrific manner.
So I decided it couldn’t hurt to try this: a cheap roll on, by a brand name I knew and trusted, with some rather outrageous claims (whitening? pore minimizing?? who looks at pit pores?) that I didn’t care as to whether they actually delivered or not– I was just hoping for a stable, trustworthy antiperspirant.
Let’s see if it delivered, huh?
One of my biggest regrets in life is not having listened to my mother for all of my youth and adolescent years as she nagged me to wear sun protection when I left the house. I have milky, ghostly white skin, and if I’d listened to her instead of trying to be a little rebel– who hated the texture of American sunscreens more than anything– I would probably look like a porcelain doll right now, instead of being covered in countless freckles and sun damage in general.
To be honest, a lot of the pressure came from being a pale kid living in California. There’s some sort of strange culture here where I was mocked on the rare occasion when I actually did wear SPF as a child, because the other kids would laugh at me and say ‘you’re already so white, Niko, get some sun and try to get a tan for once!’ To a very minor degree, I was mocked and ridiculed for wanting to protect my skin on outdoor days, and just how paper white my skin was in general.
I’m sure you can imagine how shocked and confused my young pre-adolescent self was when I was learning about asian culture, and how pale skin and sun protection is coveted there. It gave me a sort of renewed confidence in my own appearance– that I wasn’t a freak for being tan or non-white like my classmates– and empowered me to become interested in caring for my skin by protecting it from sun damage!
Now, many years later, I have quite the collection of sunscreens– some of which I find don’t work for me as I’d like, but also a small handful which I love and use regularly, which I’d like to share with you today:
Each serves a variety of purposes, from providing more moisture when my face feels dry, to being water + sweatproof, for outdoor and swimming activities– these are my staple sunscreens, and after having tried so, so many out there, I feel pretty confident in saying that these are the right ones for me!
Let me tell you a little about them, starting with the facial UV protectors!
Ask anybody who truly knows me, and they’ll tell you that, even as a person with severe chronic fatigue– who can fall asleep at the drop of a hat when they don’t intend to– I will go to the ends of the earth to make sure that my face has been washed of any and all makeup, sunscreen, or sweat before I go to sleep. I refuse to initiate rapid eye movement until I have double-cleansed my goddamn skin.
And while that may sound a tad… aggressive… to some, this is really one of the first things you should learn to embrace if you want to get into skincare, or try to improve the condition of your skin, in general: always wash your face before you go to sleep!
When I was a teenager, even if I wore the same makeup for two days, went days without soap so much as touching my face, wore sunscreen and didn’t wash it off for a whole weekend ‘so I didn’t have to put as much on the next day’ (I really hate my past self– so much marching band sun damage….), I always managed somehow to have flawless skin. I was known for it, in some circles.
But now, as an adult, I’m not so lucky– but I am smarter, so I have these products to help me stay clean, and the products I’ll mention in the next post, routine PART 3, to protect me from UV rays!
If there’s one more thing I can add before I list the products, it’s that I personally feel like a lot of the product and cleanser pH hype is a bunch of… well, hype. Try and use products that make your skin feel best– not what rates best on the pH scale (as I did with the CosRX Low pH Cleanser, which was not kind to my skin, but I used because pH, guys! pH!!). My current cleanser sits a bit high, around a 7.5-8, but I’ll explain later how it makes my skin feel, and why it’s right for me in spite of that.
With that said, here we go!
So, here’s a little explanation of how this will work– products are pictured [from left to right] in order of when I apply them, and as such, I will list them in the text body that way, along with a little comment/description of each.
If any of these products catches your eye, and you’d like to know more about it than the short commentary provided in this post, feel free to drop a comment or contact me through any of the contact info provided on the menu bar at the top of the blog, and I’d be happy to do a review request for you~
Let’s get started~!
When you have skin as sickly-ghost-pale as mine, you often need to devise creative methods of tampering with your skin/base makeup in order to get the shades you buy to eventually acquiesce to match your actual skin tone. The most recent method I’ve devised– which I plan to write a comprehensive post containing many different products and example photos on soon– is to use asian whitening/”tone-up” creams in place of a white mixer, so I can buy a foundation or BB cream based on formula instead of just ‘this is almost remotely white enough to suit me’, then mix in the whitening primer to make it closer to my face shade.
I bought this SON&PARK Beauty Filter Cream– a whitening tone-up cream- for that very reason (that is, to try for mixing in with my makeup, and to have a wider variety of products, including a high-end one, for when I write that future post), and I’m going to be upfront in saying, the most shocking thing about this product for me was the size of the container.
let me just… here’s a size comparison.
…but you guys are here for some info on the product, not to stare at an old can of my father’s caffeine free Diet Dr. Pepper, right? Then, onto the swatches + mini-review~
[and no… it’s not called a mini-review because the product is really tiny…]
An amazingly lovely friend of mine from allll the way back in high-school [who actually works at a local Sephora now!] has taken note of my knowledge of (mostly asian) skincare and makeup products recently, and hit me up to ask if I knew anything about the Dr. Jart+ Cicapair line. As luck would have it, the only item I’ve used from the line– the Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment (what a mouthful…)– is the one he was interested in finding out more about, so I offered to write him a full review of the product including ratings on a five point scale, photos, etc. He seemed genuinely interested to see what I had to say, which brings us to where we are now!
Well, here you go, friend!