Five Top Japanese Beauty Products to Try in November
I love makeup just as much as the next girl, but any woman's beauty regime needs to start with the basics. So this month, I'm recommending five fantastic Japanese skincare products, from cleanser to eye cream and a gel-cream moisturizer. I've even thrown in two great hair and nail products! Check them out below.
Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water
We all know that taking off your makeup at the end of the day is a must to keep our skin in top condition, but often it’s done as quickly as possible before we climb into bed. In my book, anything that makes the process quicker is definitely something I want in my bathroom cabinet. This month, I finally tried Koh Gen Do’s Spa Cleansing Water (¥2,800) and I am an immediate convert (sorry Bioderma).
Cleansing water is perfect for first step cleansing, meaning removing makeup from your skin before a deeper cleanse with a foaming or cream cleanser. What I love about the Koh Gen Do cleansing water is that it’s so effective at removing makeup, you don’t need to keep rubbing and swiping the cotton square or bud repeatedly over your skin, which can be so irritating and damaging, particularly on the delicate eye area. The cleaning water is perfect for removing mascara and eyeliner. It’s also great to have on hand when you are doing your makeup, as you can quickly erase any mistakes without any smudging or smearing. Just use a cotton bud soaked in cleansing water. If you have dry skin and your skin doesn’t need a full cleanse in the morning, this product is the perfect way to freshen up the skin and remove heavy night creams without stripping the skin of natural oils. Just swipe an infused cotton square gently over the face. This product is so gentle, it’s suitable for all skin types. Koh Gen Do is one of my absolute favorite Japanese skincare brands, so I was so happy to find that you can buy it at Tokyu Hands.
Obagi Derma Power X Eye Specialist
For most of us the eye area is the first to show the signs of aging. Fine lines and crow’s feet appear and we vow to religiously apply our eye cream day and night. Obagi Derma Power X is a great Japanese anti-aging range that’s readily available in most pharmacies. I have previously tried the Obagi lip treatment essence and really liked it, so when I needed a new eye cream I decided to try one from the Obagi Derma Power X range. For a drugstore brand, Obagi is at the higher end of the price range. This eye cream was ¥6,000, which may seem expensive, however the quality of the eye cream is really high, and it immediately improves the visible condition of the skin around the eye area, leaving it hydrated and firm. I especially liked that the cream penetrates deeply into the skin, leaving no tacky residue, which makes it suitable for both morning and night use. The Obagi Derma Power X formula is designed to deliver key anti-aging ingredients deep into the skin to improve long-term skin condition. This is a great product if you are after a good, not highly fragranced anti-aging eye cream.
Shiseido Ma Cherie Perfect Shower
There are so many products in the Japanese drugstore that just don’t exist elsewhere in the world, and one of them is a “hair reset” spray, like this one from Shiseido’s Ma Cherie range (¥740). So what is a “hair-reset” spray? Basically, it’s a product to use in the morning to remedy messy, unruly bed hair, bringing it back to its sleek post-wash condition. Many Japanese women wash and dry their hair at night, so by the time they get up in the morning hair can have unwanted bends and messy flyaways. To return hair to its just-washed look, you simply spray it with the “hair reset” spray, and then gently brush through with your fingers (or for more volume, a brush) and allow to air dry or use the hair dryer on a low setting. Once dry, hair is smooth, shiny and lightly fragranced. I tried the pink version of Ma Cherie Perfect Shower, which is formulated to smooth hair without weighing it down, and it was perfect for my fine hair. My hair was left smelling fresh, and definitely looking shinier and smoother. Best of all, Ma Cherie Perfect Shower Spray didn’t leave my hair heavy and greasy, it feels light and clean even later in the day.
Shiseido Aqua Label Special Gel Cream
This collagen rich moisturizing gel dramatically improves moisture retention and the appearance of fine lines. When applied to the skin Aqua Label Special Gel Cream (¥1,800) has a very pleasant cooling sensation, and is quite thick. It leaves the skin looking shiny and sticky, but after a few minutes the gel absorbs almost completely, leaving the skin with a slightly satin feeling. It’s recommended to use this gel cream both morning and night, but just keep in mind you need wait a few minutes before applying makeup. Even dry skin will have improved levels of hydration, without using a thick cream that can leave the skin feeling greasy.
Rooro Gel Remover Pack
So many of us love gel manicures, as you get fantastic long-wearing, shiny, perfect nails, not to mention all of the fun nail art possibilities. But that long-wearing formula also means that it’s really difficult to remove, and usually requires a trip back to the nail salon. Sure, you can remove your gel manicure at home, but if you are in a hurry or at work it can be almost impossible. In case of emergencies like this, pick up a box of Rooro Gel Remover Packs (¥380 for a box of 30). They are ingenious sachets that contain what you need to quickly remove your gel manicure. Simply follow the clearly marked steps on the sachet. Firstly, you cut open the sachet and place your finger inside with the acetone soaked cotton laying flat on your nail, then fold and seal around the finger and leave for 10 to 20 minutes. Gently use a cuticle stick to remove the loosened gel from the nail. Genius.