Saturday, February 16, 2008

Favorite Beauty Products and Tricks

Here are some of my favorite beauty products as well tips and tricks I've learned over the last few years either by trial and error or word of mouth. I have uber-sensitive skin, so I'm not all gung-ho about trying new things but the stuff I've listed really do miracles! Try them out yourself and see what works for you :)
  • For irritated and flaky skin on your face or any part of your body, try Mamiya Aloe Nanko (Mamiya's Aloe Salve/Ointment). It comes in a retro white plastic pot with a green screw-top lid. It's also sold in a tube. It consists of aloe stem, vaseline, lanolin, olive oil and cornstarch. It has a calming herbal scent. This green ointment has the consistency of hair molding wax and it's a little greasy when first applied, but a little goes a loooong way. I use it when my nose gets all red and peely when I'm sick (gross, I know), on my cuticles, my hands when they're really chapped, and even my lips. It can also be used as a sooting ointment for light burns and small cuts. My parents used it, and it was always a staple in our household. It's like vaseline, but even better for your skin! You can find it at any drugstore/pharmacy in Japan. Here's what the packaging looks like:
  • I LOVE Carmex. I just do. I've tried every single chapstick/lip balm out there on the market in both the U.S. and Japan, but nothing beats Carmex! Other products make my lips even MORE flaky and achy, but Carmex keeps them hydrated all day...which is really important because my office is REALLY dry. The heater AND AC are on at all times to keep us humanoids warm and at the same time, the network equipment cool...bad combo for sensitive skin for sure! It's not as smooth as Blistex or the Chapstick brand, but works as a great base since it matte-fies lips and acts as a glue for any lipcolor.
  • Receipts as nail buffers. You may not believe me, but this FREE alternative to store-bought nail buffers actually work! Use a receipt to buff your nails...the idea is similar to wiping glass or a mirror with newspaper to make it shiny. The oils used in the ink give a smooth appearance/sheen. Don't use receipts that use cheap soy ink though, this'll just make your hands and nails sooty and gross.
  • Oil-Free moisturizer as makeup remover. Mid-day when I have scary raccoon eyes from staring too hard at all the monitors at work, I run to the ladies room and whip out my Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisturizer for combination skin, dab some on a cotton swab and wipe away migrated eye makeup. This technique also works great when your eyeliner (pencil or liquid) is squiggly and needs to be fixed. Instead of tugging on your sensitive eyelid with your fingers, use oil-free moisturizer to fix unwanted lines or smudges without having to remove everything and start from scratch. Simple, no?
  • A Korean nail buffer called Crystal nail. It's a new type of nail buffer that uses a compressed sponge that pros are using everywhere, now available to the public. The block has three sides you use to polish your nails. It's like an effortless manicure in MINUTES! I had my doubts when I saw it at the drugstore near work, and tried it out during my lunch break...I came back to work with ten shiny, beautiful nails! I hate doing nails, so this is a great, quick alternative for me. None of the previous buffers I've owned made my nails this shiny. It seriously makes your nails look as if they have topcoat on 'em! There are a lot of imitations sold now. I bought a no-name brand one myself because it was cheaper. Crystal nail is sold all over the web as well, for about 1050 yen for one (about $8 USD).
That's all I can think of now, I'm pretty tired...spent over twelve hours at work trying to stay awake! Oh, and here is the pretty Coach purse my boyfriend got me for Valentine's. I LOVE it! It's a small-ish shoulder bag, but big enough to fit my wallet, train pass, makeup (but only the essentials), keys and nano. It's from the 'Bleecker' collection. He has great taste, don't you think?
Here's one he got me for Christmas, it's a big hobo. I can fit two magazines in here! It's so big that he calls it 'the couch' instead of "maybe your 'couch' ate your phone!" (he says this when I whine and cry when I can't find my cell phone.)Oyasumi everyone!

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