Sunday, 19 June 2011

Juju's Aquamoist Face Moisturising Mask

Product : Juju's Aquamoist Face Moisturising Mask
Made In : Japan
Purchased From : Japan
Quantity : Pack of 5, each with 20mL

Product Description from Juju Cosmetics :
'Feel the moisture just like the beauty salon, with the concentrate skin care. The moisturizing mask contains plenty of hyaluronic acid. By applying the face mask for 10-15 minutes, the skin regains elasticity dramatically.'

Face masks are not a fix-it product. Unlike creams and serums, it is not plausible to be using face masks every single day, twice a day. They simply cost too much and the amount of time it takes for a sheet mask to absorb is simply too long for us busy people always on the go.

Therefore, face masks are not something that we should be buying with the thought that 'Oh, this product is going to moisturise or whiten my face in the long term' because it is unlikely that it will. In my opinion, they are meant to be a quick and intense burst of hydration to revitalise and soften your skin. They can be used to refresh your appearance by cooling and barraging your face with moisture.

I am particularly a fan of using face masks before putting on make up for a special occassion. I just look more awake and my make up sits so much better on my face thanks to the moisture.

So keeping all of this in mind, my criteria for a good face mask is considerably less than, say, compared to a day cream. For me, a good face mask is about having a high dosage of hydration and not making me itch, burn or break out. 

Aquamoist is another Japanese Chemist brand that I recently chanced upon. Its primary ingredient is hyaluronic acid which is seriously one of those buzz words which I see in bright shiny lights whenever I hear it. AHAH. As a reminder, hyaluronic acid is all about hydrating your skin and maintaining your body's moisture levels so that your skin can be soft and elastic throughout the day.

The Juju website explains that 1g of hyaluronic acid has the ability to retain up to 6 litres of water. Shock horror - this is all good news! The bad news is that an individual's hyaluronic acid levels decrease rapidly as they get older. By the age of 40, our bodies would have lost 50% of its ability to maintain its own acid levels and by the age of 60, this number drops to 25%. Without sufficient amounts of hyaluronic acid, our faces begin to show signs of signs such as fine lines and sagging.

Therefore, it is super important to use products with hyaluronic acid in order to replenish our skin and to keep signs of wear and tear at bay!

Another thing that is really good about Aquamoist products is that they are all without colouring, mineral oil, fragrance, animal testing and alcohol. So, theoretically, they should be safe for all skin types. I say 'theoretically' because I have not tried any of their other products besides this mask that I'm reviewing!

So at the moment, Aquamoist sounds very similar to Hada Labo doesn't it?! Actually, Aquamoist has similar products to Hada Labo - like their lotions, essences and creams. I am guessing that the main difference between them would be the amount of hyaluronic acid in the actual products. After all, Hada Labo has SUPER hyaluronic acid which can retain twice the amount of the normal hyaluronic acid found in Aquamoist products!

One of the things that I love about Aquamoist face cloth mask is that it is very soft and durable. Pulling the mask out of the pack, it was completely soaked with dewy essence. 

The shape of the face mask both has its pros and cons. For its negatives, the mask is too wide for my face and the cut-out at the eyes is too big, so my under-eye area was not covered. 

The positive and unique thing about the face mask is that the upper lip and chin area could be torn apart and adjusted to your face shape. I really appreciated this because my chin always has air-bubbles when I use other masks, but this time I was able to tailor it to my own chin and lip shape.

I kept the mask on my face for about 15 minutes and it was still quite wet - so I stuck it on my leg. AHAH. No wasting! But my face felt very hydrated, plump and soft. My skin actually felt smoother and more moisturised than after a few drops of Hada Labo lotion.
A few online reviews complained that the mask left their faces sticky and that they had to rinse the residue off their faces before putting on their moisturiser.  I also had some stickiness on my face, but it wasn't excessive and I didn't have to wash off the serum. Maybe my skin is really dry? AHAH. I just let me skin absorb the rest and went to sleep!

However, I would the imagine the stickiness being an impediment to the application of make up. So, I wouldn't recommend anyone using this face mask before putting on their make up.

Like always, I clipped the pack because there was some essence left behind. There wasn't a lot and it lasted me for one day.

But I definitely recommend you give it a go because the face mask made me skin more elastic than usual. It ticked all the boxes for hydration and I did not experience any irritation using the mask. I also liked the quality of the face masks, especially how you could adjust the chin and upper lip area to fit your face. 

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Event : Hair Expo 2011

I spent my entire long weekend at Hair Expo Australia, a three day salon industry event filled with exhibitions, hair workshops and style demonstrations. Aside from learning about some new hair products and spotting a few bargains at the event, I was really inspired by the creativity and passion of the people at the expo. I was lucky to meet and talk to a wide range of hair professionals about the kind of work they do and what they got out of the expo. I spoke to students, apprentices, salon owners, creative directors, wholesalers and other traders, and everyone exuded so much enthusiasm for what they did. 

A colleague spotted Alex Perry, the Australian fashion designer and judge from Australia's Next Top Model, on the first day. Apparently, he did have his signature sunglasses on top of his head!

I also got the opportunity to watch most of the hair demonstrations on the main stage and fell in love with so many different hairstyles. The above photos that I've included were the Redken show. Spot the Louboutin.

At the end of the final day, I came to two realisations.

ONE. I have boring hair. 
TWO. After three long days of being stuck around stick-thin models, I have noticed that I have gotten too big and too wide. 

Hence, I have come to two dramatic conclusions. 

ONE. I should experiment with my hair.
TWO. I should exercise and each less junk

For more photos from the Hair Expo, visit their Facebook Page.

Monday, 6 June 2011


Chestnut and Dumpling Dessert
Mummy made this after dinner tonight. Everyone's been feeling so dried up from the weather lately and we've all starting to cough a little. Mum always makes chestnut dessert soup whenever that happens. 
Dumplings are just a bonus. I love them because they're so chewy and tasty! You can buy sesame dumplings at your Asian grocery, but at home, we just roll them out of rice flour and put a small lump of brown rock sugar in it.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Review : YSL's Perfect Touch Radiant Brush Foundation SAMPLE

A week ago, I received an email about YSL giving out samples of their foundations. All I had to do was go to one of their counters and have a beauty adviser select the right shade for my skin. Now I don't actually like wearing a full-face of foundation unless I absolutely have to. I really don't like feeling my face weighed down and luckily, I don't have that many blemishes that need to be covered.  In my lifetime, I have only ever bought one bottle of foundation for myself and previous to that, I leeched off my mother.

So when it comes to choosing the right foundation in terms of colour, texture and finish, I am as clueless as you can get!

The sales assistant [SA] at the YSL counter I visited started off by asking me what type of foundation I like. I was like 'Err. . .I like something that's light. . .preferably with sunscreen in it?'.

Told you I had no clue. 

She picked up 'Perfect Touch' in #5 - Peach and quite excitedly told me that this was absolutely light and heavenly on the skin. She said that it would feel and look like a second layer of skin and that it could illuminate my face. Pulling the top off the tube, there was a pretty big brush attached to it and when she twisted the top part of it, a creamy sand colour came out.

She put it onto my jawline and it was very light. I took a small mirror and put it real close to my face to see how it came out on my face. It looked like. . .well, it looked like she hadn't put anything at all. Good thing? Bad thing? Bad lighting? I don't know. . .

I played around with the tube myself and swiped the brush onto my hand. I found that it wasn't that effective because it made the foundation look quite streaky on my hand. I had to blend them out with my fingers. The brush bristles also tended to lump together when it got too wet, leading to the long streaks upon application.

Actually, straight off the bat, I don't like in-built brushes. It is just so unhygenic. I prefer to actually clean my brushes with running water and then air them dry afterward. Being told to spray the brush with make up remover or wiping them with antiseptic wipes just doesn't cut it for me. 

At home, I applied some with my own foundation brush all over my face.

I noticed that my face had a nice glow on my skin. My face looked brighter and much more refreshed. I would say the coverage is light because the colour is quite sheer and natural-looking.

Having said this, I still found the colour to be too yellow on my skin. I would have been nice if there was a bit more pink in the mix. Maybe try another colour?

In other news, it seems like all my close friends have flown off or are flying off to the Northern Hemisphere. I'm so jealous! One is already in Japan on exchange, one has gone to volunteer for an elephant's conservation project in Thailand and another will be holidaying in Europe for seven weeks.

So so so x 1000000000000 jealous!

To bid farewell to my friend who has gone to look after the elephants, we caught up with [unhealthy, yet completely delicious] Churros. I don't ever go for Churros unless it's with her, so I'm guessing I have to wait another month before I go again? AHAH.

She left on Friday and I miss her so much! *cries a river*

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Review : Kose's ClearTurn White Q10 Masks

Product : Kose's ClearTurn Clear White Q10 Masks
Made In : Japan
Purchased From : Japan
Quantity : Pack of 5

Today is the first day of winter and I've been feeling the weather change pretty bad. A few nights ago we had torrential rain and the temperature has been dropping way too low for my liking. My shoulders are aching like mad, the hot water bottle has become my best friend and I've whipped out my uggs.

And no surprises, my skin is starting to get a bit tight. So out come my face masks!

I bought this pack of Kose's ClearTurn White Q10 Masks in a Japanese chemist because it was insanely cheap. Like I think 300Yen? It was on sale for some reason. . .I'm not sure why, but I picked up three different boxes from the same brand and line. I bought this Q10 one and also GABA and White Marine Collagen masks. I'd never tried them before so was a bit worried about getting a reaction and blah blah blah.

But I was in Japan and I wasn't spending money on anything except for food. . .the masks were on SALE. If they were completely terrible, I wouldn't feel that bad about throwing them away.

From Sasa:

"Contains condensed Q10 essence, could be easily absorbed by skin, instantly generates energy for tired skin, and protect against dryness and wrinkles. Revitalizes and intensively whitens skin simultaneously and comfortable, perfectly fits the face shape. Mild acidic formula, no coloring and alcohol"

Coenzyme Q10 is actually an essential nutrient that is naturally produced in the body that energies and promotes youthful and elastic skin. As we age, the production of Q10 cells decrease which leads to aging. So skincare products containing Q10 are particularly helpful as they have the potential to rejuvenate and protect the skin from external factors such as pollution and sun damage. Apparently they can minimise wrinkles and fight against dryness.

Now that's a big promise. I have used one other Q10 product and that seems to be okay at hydrating my skin if I rigorously use it day in and day out. It hasn't really helped me minimise my fine lines.

Nonetheless, have you noticed that in the past two years, Western cosmetics/skincare brands have been releasing products with Q10 in them? Think Nivea's Visage Q10 Plus Anti-Wrinkle cream.


As you can see, the cloth mask was only an okay-fit for my face. It was a bit too wide, not long enough for my face and it didn't cover the corners of my lips too well. Maybe my mouth area is a bit small?

The moment I put the mask on my face, my eyes started to sting. It felt like chemical fumes were billowing into my eyes. It was insane - I had no idea what it was! The blub from Sasa does say that there is MILD ACID in it - was that it? Far outtt.

But it went really quickly and then I was fine *phew*.

The one thing that I hate about face masks is that there never have an expiry date and rarely have production dates printed on them. So I never know whether they're fresh or have been sitting on the shelves for awhile.

I'll admit that I am a bit suspicious as to whether the pack I got expired. I mean, look, my eyes stung for a little bit after I put it on. Was it really the 'mild acid formula'? I don't know - you tell me!

What I can say is that I didn't really like the essence. I am used to more fluid and watery types of essence because I find that my skin drinks that up better. I'm not a fan of milky formulas because they tend to just sit on my skin and not much else.

Also, the mask was a little dry. As in it wasn't drenched in essence. 

I left the mask on for about 15 minutes. When I peeled it off, it was still wet so I wrapped it around my leg. AHAH.

You can put it on the front or back of your neck by sticking the sides down with sticky tape. Don't waste it!

Like most masks that I try, my skin looked rejuvenated and firmer from the hydration. I was happy with the immediate results but the smooth texture of my skin only lasted about a day - which is always disappointing.

The pack had enough essence for one day and night - which is unusual because I am used to using masks that have enough essence left for three/four days. Maybe this pack had really expired?

I don't think I will be buying this mask again, despite it being dirt cheap. I have used Kose ClearTurn Clear White White Marine Collagen and I prefer them. My face was softer and more supple with White Marine Collagen which made my skin bouncy and smooth-looking for at least three days. The essence is more fluid, the masks are always drenched and there's loads of essence left in the pack.

A complete bonus is that there aren't any nasty fumes that make your eyes want to cry. . .

Also, the White Marine Collagen mask fitted my face much better. You can see that it is less wide, its length is longer and the mouth area is a bit smaller.  It also had a bit of cloth that could cover over my upper eyelids. 

I like this one a lot better!