Beauty was my primary goal as far as purchasing goes for the trip, which is a pretty easy decision to make when you're going to countries where you don't fit any of the clothes or shoes and the makeup will more than likely not work for your skin tone. All was not lost though, and I got a really diverse - and fun to use - selection of products that I'm excited to share with you all!
**Disclaimer - just to be clear, I bought all these with my own money in local currency. I'm not trying to brag, just share with you the products that caught my eye and your mileage may vary in terms of product availability and effectiveness.**
Berrisom Lip Tints, pack of six for $24
Couldn't forget these Geek of the Week picks now could I?! I'd put my friend on the hunt for these lip tints before I even arrived, and damned if she didn't see them in the first Sasa we went into in Hong Kong. I bought some for me and a few friends - how could you not? After the tint swatches stayed on my hand for almost a day and a half we went back and I bought the remover. JUST IN CASE.
Sailor Moon Makeup, various, $12-$64 (price depends on item)
I am such a sucker for buying these but I DON'T CARE because it's Sailor Moon eyeliner with the most adorable packaging and I love it. We should all just be proud I talked myself out of the $50 compact, despite how wonderful I knew it would look on my desk.
Nuxe Aroma-Perfection Lotion (toner) $19, Yanhee Acne Cream $13.50, Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence $17 for 2, Biore UV Perfect Milk $8
This is a slightly more random collection, since these items come from Hong Kong, Thailand and Japan but hey, it fit nicely for pictures so we're gonna go with it. The toner was a last minute addition when mine spilled everywhere - it smells nice and is generally soothing, though it's mattifying properties are still under debate.
The acne cream I purchased in Thailand and despite the presence of Salicylic Acid and Sulfur in the ingredients list, the fact that it also contains Mineral Oil worried me a bit. Thankfully it's probably one of the best acne products I've ever purchased and does a fantastic job of healing and preventing pimples.
And of course, the two sunscreens are from Japan. I'm still on the fence about how my face is reacting to the IMAGE sunscreen I purchased, so I had my friend pick up the watery essence due to tons of internet accolades. It's very lightly fragranced, soaks into the skin instantly, and seems to be causing me no adverse affects so I'm happy. The milk sunscreen I feel in love with after watching my friend use hers and after some gentle begging she passed her extra bottle on to me (THANKS MAKIKO!).
And I think is the perfect time for a page break - click through to see the rest of my Asia haul!
These were my two purchases from Singaporean Airport duty free. As someone with an oily, acne prone complexion I like my products to do a couple things: keep my skin clear and help heal the damage from previous breakouts. Rather than textural scars acne tends to leave me with brown spots, aka hyperpigmentation, and the associate at Shiseido really knew her stuff. It's supposed to not only help prevent new hyperpigmentation from appearing but also break up the melanin from older spots, though you're probably better heading to the website to read exactly how it's doing that. I'm really liking how it feels so far, though again, skincare that works to combat pigmentation issues takes so long to see results that while I'm enjoying it I'm not sure if it's a must buy.
Now the Sekkisei soap I don't have much of an opinion on yet. I've used it a couple times but since it's winter my oily skin isn't as much of a problem and I can't tell if it's really doing anything. It's really pretty though, so again I have no regrets about picking it up.
Collagen Crystal Eyelid Patch, Mistine LVs Duo Lipstick $6
Both completely random add-ons when I was wandering around Kata Beach, they might work, they might not. I used one of the eye patches while I was still in Phuket and while it felt nice and was very soothing after spending a few hours in the hotel room fridge, I can't really say more than that.
AND LOOK AT THAT LIPSTICK. I haven't even swatched the damn thing because the perfect bullet is just so nice. Is it a quality lipstick? I have no idea and I'm not sure when I'll be able to tell you either, lol.
Oh and I almost forgot about that apple-girl looking lipgloss in the bottom right hand corner. It's cute, it smells like apple, will I ever use it? Shrug, who knows, lol, but it was cheap so I threw it in the cart too. #fiscalresponsibility
After realizing just how out of reach (budget) premium Japanese brushes were (I'm sorry, I don't have $300 to spend on a powder brush) I wasn't sure if I was going to come back from this trip with any new brushes. But while wandering around the Singaporean Duty Free, I was able to not only find this brush but also a nice associate who had a sample I could touch.
I've used this a couple times and I think my final opinion is that it's a nice brush, that's particularly great for travel. The bristles are compact but soft, and have just enough give that you can buff in your foundation (cream or liquid) to avoid streaks. The only real con is that the brush head is so small that it takes longer to apply your base layer evenly, but I'm willing to make that sacrifice for something that fits perfectly in my makeup bag.
SK-II Red Butterfly/Wings of Change Set
For the life of me I can't find this set online, and after I crushed the box I got rid of it in Singapore so I can't even give you the exact name of the collection - sorry I'm sucking so hard with this one. I flip back and forth about whether SK-II is worth it, or whether it really does all that much for your skin, but due to the Yen to USD exchange rate I was able to pick this up at the Narita Airport Duty Free for a little over $70 so TOTALLY WORTH IT.
And finally, some last minute purchases as I was leaving Japan for my first flight home. If you're someone like me who wears a decent amount of makeup on a regular basis then you know that how you remove it at night is really important. Cleansing oils are my preference as a first-step remover, and this one by FANCL is one of the best I've ever used. It has absolutely no fragrance I can detect and comes out as an almost gel like oil (?) if that makes any sense. It's the perfect texture to rub into the skin to dissolve makeup and rinses away clean without actually emulsifying into any type of foam cleanser, which leaves skin smooth but not stripped. A+ am going to buy again.
The Eye Serum is definitely not a serum but a cream, and a thicker one at that. Again no fragrance and after smiling and showing the associate the puffiness I was getting under my eyes she recommended this one to moisturize the area. The cream is fine but I especially love the packaging on this product. See that silver ring around the base of the top? After you unscrew the top that ring comes off entirely, which allows the lid to screw back on fully to the base of the the tube, where the small piercer on the underside of the cap breaks the seal so you can actually access the cream. Cool huh?
AND THANK GOODNESS THAT'S IT because my fingers hurt and I don't want to type anymore, lol. Is there anything from my haul you'd like to see swatches of, or just in a more detailed way than I have here? I'll own my weirdness and admit I haven't opened the Sailor Moon liner with the special cap yet, but I can show you more of the Queen Serenity one!