Other than my trusty BB cream, I still don't wear very much makeup. This fact, however, doesn't stop me from regularly perusing Seoul's plethora of cosmetic shops and drug stores. Cyndi, J.IM, and I have recently spent a lot of time and money (eeps!) picking up some great new products, so I thought it'd be a good idea to share our top Asian beauty buys for the summer.
The following items are my picks. I will post Cyndi and J.IM's list within the next few days, if not sooner.
Okay, let's proceed with the budget beauty extravaganza!
LET ME FINISH BB CREAM SPF 37 PA++ (Banila Co.)
I recently switched from my Missha "M' BB Cream to Banila Co.'s "Let Me Finish" BB Cream. Banila Co.'s BB cream is slightly more pricey (over $20), but in my inexpert opinion, it seems to do a better job of covering up my blemishes. It also gives me a "dewy" look (as opposed to a matte finish) that makes me feel more polished. I just smear the cream all over my face; dab a little extra cream on the bigger blemishes; then cover it all with a slight dusting of powder.
AQUAIR "Deep Moist" Hair Treatment Lotion (purchased at Watsons)
My over-processed hair is in dire need of some extra TLC, so I picked up a bottle of this Aquair hair lotion at a Watsons in Taipei. This hair lotion, made by the Shiseido Co. comes in a handy spray bottle and has a nice light scent. It may be all wishful thinking of my part, but my pama-induced curls seem to look a tad more healthy.
DR FORMULA ESSENTIAL LIP BALM SPF 10 (It's Skin)
Since I'm down to my last tube of Labello (which I could only find in Hong Kong!), I'm always on the lookout for another replacement lip balm. Despite the similar packaging, Nivea lip balm just doesn't cut it. It's like smearing a candle across your lips. My current substitute is a tube of "Essential Lip Balm" from It's Skin. The lip balm feels smooth going on, without leaving any sort of sticky residue. Plus, it has SPF 10. That can't hurt, right?
PROCURE 365 HAIR MIST (Missha)
Even though I had just picked up a bottle of Aquair Hair Lotion in Taipei, when Cyndi told me that Missha's "Hair Mist" comes with sun protection, I decided that Procure 365 would make a prudent purchase. The hair mist comes in three scents: floral, fruity, and something blue. I picked "Fresh Flower." I can't single out any noticeable effects on my hair, but I do feel better knowing that my hair's got a little SPF. I spray this one on in the morning, and Aquair in the evening.
I love drugstores in Asia. They're always filled with interesting regional items. In Taipei, we made many stops at the various drugstore. I noticed a line of Garnier products that featured a Chinese fruit, longan, aka "dragon eye." I picked up a bottle of the "Gentle Clarifying Foam," and was very pleased with its soft texture and fresh scent, so I wet back to the drugstore to pick up a tube of the eye cream. Both bottles were described as "light." I had thought this meant "gentle," but I soon realized that it referred to the fact that the products are meant to help whiten the appearance of your skin. I'm already pretty fair (bordering on glow-in-the-dark), so I could do without the whitening agents. Oh well. The products also claim to be "tested on Asian skin." Better Asians than lab animals, I guess.
Eye Contour Whitening Cream with SPF 15 (Garnier Skin Naturals)
Gentle Clarifying Foam with Pure Lemon Essence + long dan (Garnier Skin Naturals)
I also picked up a jar of moisturizing cream another product in the Garnier Skin Naturals line. It's nothing special in terms of the moisturizing, but I keep using it because it smells so darn good. The scent reminds me of a gardenia lei.
Fresh 24h Moisturizing Cream (Garnier Skin Naturals)
Speaking of smelling good, I picked up Anna Sui's "Flight of Fancy" Eau de toilette at the Duty-free. It's my official scent for the summer; meaning, I use it liberally in order to mask the damp odor of a shirt that has not dried properly thanks to the humidity. It smells colorful, like a fruity cocktail.