The first blog post in 2 months is here: my top 5, this time on essential summer beauty products. I’m slipping in this post just before summer comes to an end. All the products are actually just as useful throughout the rest of the year. Lightweight hydrating gel and trusty sunscreen are, for many, essential beauty items whatever the season.
There is something to be said, quite definitely, for groomed brows. They give face definition and frame facial features. I have somewhat sparse eyebrows, thanks to my East Asian genetics, so a spot of quick grooming — shaping them and filling in sparse bits — is an essential part of my daily beauty routine. LUK 168 Tattoo Eyebrow has been my go-to for the soft, natural “I woke up like this” look. It isn’t your typical tattoo-effect eyebrow tint pen. You apply this at night on super clean brows then you wash it off in the morning. What you’re left with, if you use it right, is a natural-looking stain that lasts about 2–3 days, gradually and evenly fading over time. Something like this is a dream when I have an early wake-up call, because I can do my brows at night and then I’m good to go in the morning. I use Natural Brown on my whole brow and add Dark Brown near the tail just for a smidgen more depth.
One of the products that I’ve been reaching for the most is Hada-Labo’s Shirojyun Premium Whitening Jelly Essence. A really light-feeling gel, but it really packs a punch. It absorbs instantly, keeping my skin cool, calm and hydrated in the summer heat without a sticky or greasy feel. I can’t comment on its purported effects at treating dark spots (it’s not an issue I have), but its active ingredient (tranexamic acid) does have proven effective against pigmented spots and inflammation.
I wash my hair every night and I use dry shampoo as a midday refresher to revive limp strands from the heat and humidity. When I’m exercising, I spray it liberally into my roots before I do my workout. Afterwards, I can simply brush out the dry shampoo, along with any oiliness and sweat. It keeps my hair looking relatively nice and fresh without having re-wash. Batiste Dry Shampoo is what I’ve repurchased the most — it does the job perfectly, and it’s cheap and readily available worldwide!
(I’m quite frankly grossed out by the trend of using dry shampoos to avoid washing dirty, greasy hair. It’s unhygienic and terrible for the scalp’s health to not wash visibly dirty hair on a regular basis. Dry shampoo doesn’t clean anything — it simply masks grease and odour! It’s no different than using perfume and changing clothes instead of washing yourself. Why so many women online like to brag about not washing their greasy, smelly hair in days are beyond me. The mind boggles.)
Sometimes you just want to freshen up, but you don’t have time to shower or there isn’t one available. Biore Cool Body Sheets (Refresh Floral) is quite the lifesaver when I’ve spent the afternoon at festivals and need to freshen up fast. These cooling wipes are much larger, thicker, and more durable than those tiny, flimsy wipes meant for baby’s bottom or facial use. They clean, deodourise, and cool down the body, and leave the skin feeling super clean and fresh. If you can’t shower, these wipes are the next best thing. I like the Floral scented ones, but it also comes in a herbal scent and fragrance-free. A pack of 20 is less than ¥400 in Japan.
A post on summer beauty products wouldn’t be complete without a sunscreen. What I originally reserved for outdoor activities has now worked its way into my everyday summer staples. I’ve mentioned Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen Skincare Milk more times than I talk about any other sunscreens so regular readers will be no strangers to this recommendation. It has reliable protection with fantastic durability that absorbs quickly into a satin-matte finish.