Back from Japan!

I’m back!

I actually got back on Thursday morning, but I was pretty tired. Even then, I didn’t sleep immediately as I got back home. I was too excited to unpack all my Japan buys, plus catch-up on the Internet, even though I had intermittent Internet access over there. Then on Friday, I was dragged around doing house stuff, including choosing about nearly $7k in white-goods, or should that be “white”-goods, as all of them were stainless steel…

With all my blogging drama about the exchange rate, it didn’t really matter or shouldn’t have mattered. For most of the trip, the rate was steady around 84 (until the surprise RBA cash rate cut…). In retrospect, I should have only exchanged a minimal amount in Australia, say even Y10000 since I had only received a rate of 81.66 and then should’ve used my fee-free Citibank account to withdrawal everything else at the almost market rate. The Citibank ATMs I used were not hard to find in Japan. Oh, another silly thing was I forgot my Citibank PIN in Japan. How stupid, am I?! Thank goodness  for the Internet and the free 3G on my Kindle, as I was able to ask family back home to send it to me! Oh well, it’s all part of learning!

I did end up getting a few of my skincare wishlist items, but not everything though. Here’s a pic of my haul! 😀 Actually, it’s not complete, as I didn’t photograph some purchases for others.

As you can see, I managed to get a few Jill Stuart items [pictured top-right], despite their overpriced-ness. I was originally only going to the lip balm, but their was a Gift Set “special” going on, which had a lip balm and hand cream. To be honest, now, I’m not sure I actually saved anything with buying this “Gift Set A” and maybe should’ve just got the lip balm. Ah, impulse buying 😛 Yep, just checked the Jill Stuart e-shop and I saved absolutely nothing! I chose the Jill Stuart White Floral Hand Cream (Y1260) and the Jill Stuart Fruit Lip Balm N in pink (Y1575). I did end up getting two small sachet samples of their other products as a freebie: Jill Stuart Body Milk and Jill Stuart Body Protector SPF50+ PA+++. However, I think most beauty shops in Japan throw in a beauty sample or two. I also received sample sachets at a Shinjuku Station Odakyu Shop and DHC. The other Jill Stuart item was a mook (magazine-book), the Jill Stuart 15th Anniversary Special Issue, which I had my eye on due to the freebies of two bags! I’ve had a quick flick through the actual mook, and it’s Jill Stuart clothing, not beauty, so not really as interested compared to if it was a beauty mook. There was another Jill Stuart Beauty mook on sale too, but I know I wouldn ‘t have used the vanity case.

Other beauty items, I bought were

  • Nature Cure Aqua gel (Y2625), which I got in a special pack with Cure branded Natural Rock Salts and Water Treatment Skin Cream
  • Normal Hada Labo (around  Y900), which I later saw in the Shinjuku Don Quijote for under Y700!!
  • Whitening Shirojyun Hada Labo Trial Set (around Y1200), as this also came with six small sachets of anti-pigmentation serum (or something…)
  • mandom Barrier Repair Concentrate for around Y900,
  • Lavshuca Limited Edition Fairy Candy Cheeks in Orange (around Y1680). I have no idea why I chose Orange now?! Maybe it looked more warmer and for “me” in the store, but I so now regret buying Orange over Pink! I don’t know if it’s because of the plane, but now all the balls look tic tac orange, as opposed to three distinct colours. It doesn’t look as pretty now… Why?! I must have been too seduced and distracted but the pretty packaging, somewhat reminiscent of the expensive, but oh-so-pretty Guerlain Meteorites. Luckily, the advertising pic makes orange look okay, although, I still think pink would’ve been better…
  • Lavshuca Limited Edition Pure Blossoming Eyes Limited Edition Set in Pink (Y1680). I chose the right colour here and it seems to have got a great review on the linked site. As per nearly all Japanese eyeshadows, they are not matte. However, the shimmer in these look quite subtle and therefore appear to be suitable for daytime (Australian) wear as well.
  • CANMAKE UV Silky Fit Foundation SPF30 PA++ in O2 Ochre (Y1050) in a pretty blue case.

I haven’t tried any of these yet and I’m not sure when I will, especially with the “basic” skincare products. I hope they won’t be sitting around like the DHC sampler pack from the previous Japan trip in 2008, which is still not used 😳 I also still have to get started on the full-size Pola Sakura Tokutoku II set I won just before I went to Japan. I plan to start on that next week, hehe 😛

I also bought a variety of make-up for a friend, but I won’t list these. Brands included Ettusais, KATE, Shiseido INTEGRATE, CANMAKE and Fiberwig. Stupidly, I totally forgot to buy requested blush for her and she specifically didn’t want orange either, so I can’t give her my Lavshuca Fairy Cheeks in Orange…

Anyway, my tip for anyone buying low to middle-end cosmetics in Japan, they should really check out their nearest Don Quijote first. Although pharmacies (kusuriya) do have cheaper prices than the recommended retail price (usually indicated in rectangular box on the packet), Don Quijote still beats them! Not all brands and products are available at Don Quijote, but when they are, you get a bargain. Also, some brands appear to be fixed price everywhere, regardless of which shop is selling them, e.g. I noticed Fiberwig seem to always be Y1575 everywhere, so some prices you may not be able to budge on. Eitherway, pricing will still be way cheaper than if you bought it online (at recommended retail price + shipping :O) or at one of many Melbourne’s over-priced import Asian cosmetics shops, which triple the recommended price!

I also bought a bunch of Pikachu and Hello Kitty stuff as you can see. We actually had to trek a fair bit to get to the Tokyo Pokemon Centre and I was pretty disapopinted they didn’t have much Pikachu plushies and those they did have looked a bit deformed… There was just something NQR about them, and once again, left Japan with no plush Pikachus… That said, I did end up spending over Y3000 on Pika related stuff, including this cool Large Silicon Pikachu Sponge Cake Mold, even though I don’t cook… :shifty:

I actually did most of my shopping in the last day, spending probably over Y10000 on skincare, cosmetics and tights, around Y5000 on magazines (mainly for their freebies…) and around Y2000 on snacks to take home. It was a really rainy day and probably not the best day to be out, but I wanted to get some more wishlist items and I was determined to buy! Of course, this led to a few impulse items and maybe some “wrong” decisions, but oh well, it was pretty much my last chance to take a part of Japan home with me!

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