On the highway to hydration

As mentioned recently, my dehydration required much repair.

It’s now been just over three weeks since returning back to Melbourne, Australia now and I would say my hydration levels have improved significantly. Makeup also applies a lot more smoothly.

This has been my repair skin routine


  1. Washing with warm water only – what is this craziness?! Ever since I started a skincare routine I have never ever done this! My face is still oily when I wake up, but I have found just warm water seems to be sufficient at the moment. Removing a surfactant surely helps with preventing further drying out. Now it’s going to take even longer to use up my cleansers! :O
  2. Hada Labo Shirojun Moist – Hyaluronic acid is one of those ingredients my skin laps up. That said, I’m not sure if it’s my own skin or the constant reformulations of Asian products, I didn’t feel this was as extremely hydrating as previously bottles. Hada Labo are probably trying to push customers to the newer and slightly more expensive (by about Y200) Premium line
  3. Kikumasumune Lotion High Moist – This provides only OK hydration. As this was the current watery lotion I was trying, I continued to use this on return to Australia, but I don’t think Kiku will be a staple in my routine. The cheap price (around Y600) for 500ml and quick to use pump are really good points of this product though. There might be a very subtle brightening effect too? However, the pump is really splashy and the scent changes from sake, rubbish on a hot day (yes…) to strawberries and bananas, That said, don’t be surprised if I buy this again in the future.
  4. DHC Amenity Olive Gold Series Gel Lotion – This is more viscous than steps 2 and 3, so I feel this acts like a humectant, as well as having great hydration properties. No web link for this one, as, uh, this is a hotel only line from DHC… And of course, no way to replace this one once I run out. 😳
  5. Garnier Miracle Sleeping Cream – I received this as a competition win and it’s definitely a humectant moisturiser high in silicones. This is something I would usually never buy, although the site says it’s apparently influenced by Asian skincare trends. The most interesting thing about this product is its bouncy texture. Once you take an amount out, after a few hours the remaining product flattens and smooths out again and looks like a new untouched jar! However, this is strongly fragranced (don’t use near eyes or broken skin) and the alcohols in the ingredient listing concern me, even though they are considered “fatty alcohols”.
  6. Sunscreen (currently Cancer Council Peppa Pig SPF50+ Spray – a competition win :P)  and makeup

My PM routine is the same, except I do use a cleanser and I don’t use sunscreen and makeup. My current night cleanser is Neutrogena Deep Clean or ModelCo Cleansing Gel. Both of them are OK cleansers, but they are nothing to write home about and I’m just waiting to use them up before I can move on to others in my stash. With really stubborn dry patches I used Avene Cicalfate Restorative Skin Cream as my step 6 at night, but only used this a few times.

So, that sums up the products I used to hydrate my skin. Now, I wouldn’t say I’ve achieved full hydration (e.g. pores are still very visible) nor should you run out and buy all of these products now. I would attribute a lot of my progress to mainly being back in Melbourne (climate) and the Hada Labo. The rest of the products just happened to be the ones I am currently trying out and have cooperated with my skin.


Parched! A tale of dehydrated skin


My trip to Japan caused my already dehydrated skin to be even further dehydrated. I would put this down to a combination of cold wintery air due to the season and extremely drying hotel rooms. I’m not sure why, but there’s someone about Japan’s hotel which seem to suck the moisture out of your body. I don’t believe I experience this in other countries’ hotels. Thankfully, in the majority of the hotels we stayed had in-room all-in-one humidifier and air purifier machines.

Except, our final one.

This post is not supposed to be a review about the final hotel we stayed during our most recent Japan trip, but I have to make mention of it. The Centurion Hotel Ikebukuro was an odd one. It had some great amenities (mostly typical of Japanese hotels), but it also lacked some quite vital Japanese amenities. And the main item it lacked was the humidifier. Most Japanese hotels provide in-room humidifiers or they can be borrowed from the front desk for free during your stay. The Centurion had none. Sure, there was free skin lotion and moisturiser in the bathroom, but they were watery as and did pretty much nothing. I continued using my own body and face moisturiser samples I brought from Australia. However, my skin just couldn’t hack it. Even my heels started cracking and that has never happened to me before!

It’s now been almost a fortnight since returning back to Australia and I’m still in repair mode. I would say about 90% of the dry patches of my body have been fixed, but a few stubborn areas still remain. With both my face and my body, I am layering so many moisture products and I can’t tell which ones are actually helping. Even some of my “power tools” like the Uriage Aquaprecis Express Mask aren’t even up to the task. I’m yet to sheet mask though… I’m really keen to restore my moisture barrier, so I can resume using actives again. If I achieve success soon, I will list out the products I have used, but I suspect that most of the repair will be due to being in a less drying environment and access to more products than I would usually have while travelling.

Japan beauty haul March 2017

And I’m back from Japan! Admittedly, I’m feeling pretty tired and groggy, as the plane landed this morning and I only got about 3 hours sleep. I tried to stay awake during the day, but I just couldn’t…

Once again, I spent more than I had expected. Originally, I only wanted to only really buy a few items, but I was further influenced by social media… Quite a few of these items aren’t easily available at your standard Japanese drugstore chains like Matsumoto Kiyoshi, so I had to venture to the pricier Ainz & Tulpe to find them.

Beauty Purchases

Photo 3-04-2017, 12 05 38I would say it does look slightly smaller than my December 2015 haul, but that was a pretty big one and I’m still yet to open quite a lot of the purchases from that haul! Once again, this photo does not include snacks, miscellaneous items and gifts for others.

Cleanser CrazyPhoto 3-04-2017, 12 07 58Left to right (purchase price in yen, purchase location)

Lotions PotionsPhoto 3-04-2017, 12 08 40Left to right (purchase price in yen, purchase location)

Terrific(?) TreatmentsPhoto 3-04-2017, 12 09 11Left to right (purchase price in yen, purchase location)

Colourful CosmeticsPhoto 3-04-2017, 12 10 05Left to right (purchase price in yen, purchase location)

  • Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF50+ PA++++ 50g (Y630,* Don Quijote) New release, but I haven’t even tried the revered old verison yet!
  • Missha M Magic Cushion (Moisture) #21 SPF50+ PA+++ (Original Loft Design) (Y1026*, Loft) For that price and the cute packaging, it was hard to resist despite my “eurgh” reaction to the concept of cushion foundations.
  • Can Do Ice Blue Eyeliner (Y108*, Can Do) Saw a blog post on these eyeliners and for 108 yen, I thought, why not? Edit: Man, this is awesome. Highly pigmented, easy to apply. I’m not really an eyeliner girl so maybe I have only used bad/mediocre ones, so I may just be easily pleased in this aspect. The linked blog said it was hard to apply, but it just glided smoothly on my lids. Not sure about its stay on power though, as I only tried it for fun before my shower. I’d recommend getting the full colour set! 😝
  • Shiseido SpotsCover Foundation S100, 20g (Y880 , Yodobashi Camera) Read a few blog posts about how great this is as a concealer. Hard to find this one though. Might need to find a corresponding concealer brush though…
  • Cezanne Lasting Lip Color N 402 (Y480, Ainz & Tulpe)


Here’s some cute Pokemon merchandise I also bought 🙂Photo 3-04-2017, 21 51 07

Price disclaimer: All prices stated are tax-free and after discounts, unless asterisked. I purchased most products tax-free. All products purchased from Yodobashi Camera Akihabara also include a 5% VISA credit card discount. This trip, I still found the Yodobashi Camera Akihabara the best place to go in terms of cheapest pricing and a wide range. However, it didn’t have the new Hada Labo Shirojun Premium and it does make me question the freshness of maybe the less popular items?

This likely going to be my last Japanese haul in a while. After almost annual trips to Japan for the past few years, we have decided we are likely to take a break from Japan until maybe after the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Besides, there are so many other countries in the world to explore!

Nearly time to fly!


One more work day and then I’m on leave for nearly a whole month! 😀 My anticipation for this trip has gone through some ups and downs in the last month or so. There was a moment during last week where I felt the new job “honeymoon” was over and I wanted to activate escape mode ASAP! Thankfully, I quickly had solutions and mega support on hand to reduce the pressure and seriously, at the end of the day, even with that hugely significant particular issue occurring, the stress it caused was way less than back at my usual workplace.

As the holiday gets closer and more and more plans are laid down, the excitement is on the up.

Just got to finish up this one more day; really hoping to leave early!

I’m not going to get around to completing the usual Japanese wishlist post this time. Not really due to prior lack of time, but maybe lack of personal interest! Don’t get me wrong, there will still be haulage, but at the end of the day I’m really feeling that I have way too much stuff to go through first.

Be back soon!

Weight Loss 2017 Update 1

I’ve hit a plateau. A laziness plateau. I’ve lost the routine of going to the gym regularly. The last time I went was probably a few weeks ago and before that, it was probably a few months ago. The establishment and habit of routine is so vital! It’s like training your brain to expect certain things, e.g. it’s Tuesday night, that means I’m going to do this.

Early on in my new job, I started walking home. It’s a good 40 minute walk at a reasonable pace (~5km/hr). I thought this might help counteract the lack of gym exercise, but based on the scales, it definitely hasn’t. I need exercise that really makes me sweat and induces DOMS to really make a difference.

I have found my weight seems to fluctuate a lot. By a lot, I mean up to 2kgs. I don’t think it used to fluctuate as much. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve lost the routine of exerted exercise or it’s part of just getting old 😦

Nearly one month to go!

To another Japan holiday that is! 😀

Usually a big aspect of the Japan holiday is the excitement of gathering up a beauty wishlist. This time, I seem to be less enthusiastic. I think partially it’s because the last time I went was not very long (a year ago) and the last time, I hauled big! Combined with purchases, freebies and competition wins in Melbourne, I still have a more than an ample stash. Honestly, I could probably survive on not buying any beauty products for at least two years! 😳

However, the greed in me means I will still definitely be buying beauty stuff this time, but my list will be smaller. I do have a wishlist post in draft, but I don’t know if I’ll end up finishing and posting it.

There’s a weird part of me that feels that I’m less looking forward to this trip than usual. We have almost finalised itinerary, so I now know where we will be going. Some places will be revisits of cities I have been to previously, so in some respects maybe it feels less exciting? However, I do believe I will be looking out for different aspects compared to previous visits.

I think another large part is change in my work pressures. For so long, I’ve felt that I’ve been under phenomenal pressure at work, that my holidays were a much needed respite from the stress of work. It’s not like I don’t want to go on holiday, but in some weird way, maybe I feel like I don’t need it as much? Sometimes, holidays create a sense of being able to abandon all responsibilities and when you are snowed under with a million things coming at you; behind you, above you, besides you, it’d just made me want to runaway from it all! There have been times during previous holidays where I have been struck by a gripping anxiety dread at the thought of returning to work. It’s not healthy to feel like that and even thinking back to those moments causes a resurgence of pain to my body 😦 Work issues are another story and probably something I prefer not to elaborate on my blog. It is something I really need to have a good long think about though.

This will also be my sixth trip to Japan. Am I getting bored of it? No! I will continue to re-visit often, but I do also want to visit other countries as well. To me, Japan is such an ideal place to holiday. If I didn’t have to work for a living, I would definitely consider moving there for a short period.

Nonetheless, despite my seemingly reduced zeal, I definitely can’t wait to eat my way through Japan. Om nom! 😀 Combini, I am comin’ atcha! 😀

Nearly one month to go!