Japanese Beauty Products

The sun has got his hat on! Hip hip hip… oh, poo.

It’s now summer here in sausage land and don’t I know it. I have a wonderful farmers’ tan on my arms and chest. I should be happy – usually I only go red, like a lobster, but I sit and eat my lunch on a park bench so building up a nice tan like that has actually worked this year.

When my tan was still red, I pulled out all my sun protection products – including this one above – Shideido’s Benefique Day Protector. Nothing protects my face better, and it’s light weight and it doesn’t make me break out. A tiny bit goes a long way so although it was expensive, it’s worth the money. I did a little google search of this and found that although Shiseido do sell in the West, this is not a product that is sold here.

Then today as I was browsing fashionista.com I saw an article on “Secret Japanese Drugstore Beauty Finds“. It’s pretty interesting but there are some things you have to know when going into Japanese beauty products.

Firstly, many products say they are “specially for Japanese skin”. Aside from colour changes in make up, nothing should change between different types of skin. Skin is skin. So this means that you don’t have to give up on a product just because you’re not Asian.

Another thing is that a lot of face products, including the one in the article if I remember rightly, contain whitening agents. I found it really hard to find facewashes that didn’t contain chemicals to whiten my skin. I wish that in this day an age people weren’t trying to chemically change their skin colour, though I guess it’s no different to spraying on a tan.

It’s great that we can buy Japanese products through Amazon though. I wonder if I can find some of my old favourites… Though nothing beats being able to wander round Japanese drug stores and picking up new random potions and products!! The article is right – Japanese people do know how to pamper themselves!

Luna Burger

Before going to Sneak Preview (I’ll get round to doing a post about that some time…) at the cinema last Monday, my friends and I went out to Luna Burger. I am on a mini mission – alongside my mission to find Frankfurt’s best homemade lemonade, I’d like to find Frankfurt’s best burger, too. So I was very keen to go here.

The place is very small – there weren’t more than 10 tables. The staff looked rushed but were averagely polite and spoke English too. It’s in a back street off of Konstablerwache but is easy to get to from the main shops.

I had the Luna burger, with potatoes as a side. I could choose from a small selection of sauces to go with my burger and I chose BBQ. The sauce really overpowered the taste of the burger – which is 100% Angus beef. It’s a shame, I would have wanted to really taste the beef. The potatoes were a bit disappointing too – they weren’t fresh and they weren’t tasty either. The ketchup that I asked for to go with them came in a thimble.

For the price, I’d choose it over a fast food place, but although it wasn’t terrible, it was my least favourite burger in Frankfurt so far. I think that you should give it a go if you’re in the area, though.

JolieBox – May

I have a new obsession – it’s trial box subscriptions. After a lot of research, I joined two companies – the first is Glossybox, which has it’s own German branch, and JolieBox which I am sneaky with as they only send to the UK or France, so I get Mum to forward the boxes to me.

My very first JolieBox arrived this week, so I was very very excited. Jolie boxes contain one full size item and 3 trial sized items and costs £10 a month.

This month, the box contained a full sized China Glaze nail varnish, Essential Care trial size moisturiser, Talika trial eye patches and RMK trial size base.

China Glaze Nail Varnish

I think this was a bit of a pants full size. It is a purple tinted glitter varnish, not a colour that is in fashion nor is it to everyone’s tastes. Certainly not to mine. I like some glitter varnishes but not that kind of stick glitter. I’ll be giving it to my sisters.

Essential Care Organic Rose Moisturiser

This says it’s for all skin types. I’ve been using a BB cream daily and my skin seems a lot more greasy than normal. I used this cream then wore powder during the day and my skin felt a lot happer. It’s not overly greasy and it has a nice light rose scent to it. I’ll see how it goes throughout the month with this but I would consider buying the full product.

Talika Eye Therapy Patch

I gave these a go today – they are gell patches that you place under your eyes and can re-use up to 3 times. You keep them on for 30 mins, and afterwards my eyes did look a lot better and fresher. The skin under my eyes was a lot smoother, too. They appear to be a little pricey to buy in full so I wouldn’t buy them for myself. But maybe as a gift to my mum or someone.

RMK Make Up Base

Apparently, RMK is the biggest selling make up brand in Japan. I had never heard of it. Whether this is because it is a big porky pie or whether it is because I am ignorant to these things, I have no idea. However, this base is really good. It’s silky smooth and light, and easy to apply. It smoothed out my skin tone and didn’t feel heavy or greasy at all. It’s also a tad pricey but I think if it continues to impress me as it has done this week, I will be investing in this for sure.

I got an email this morning saying my German Glossybox will be with me in a few days too! I’m so excited to try out all these new products!

Zumba Ehhh Zumba Ahhh

So I’ve been going to Zumba for about a month now. I still love LOVE it. I thought maybe I’d write a litte more about it,

The first week we went, it seemed to be a student trial session, and it was PACKED. But the next session onwards, it’s been just about right. I am one of those people who likes to be there at the front, watching the teacher and getting the dance EXACTLY right. It’s good for me since I have a little experience in salsa and other latin dances and there is a lot of influence of that style in the moves.

The second and third times we went, it was a new guy there who was being trained up. He was a lot less active than the original guy, and was a lot less confident in his dances. He had a good style though, and brought other kinds of music into the classes. I always thought that Zumba dances were the same over the world – that every class over the world were doing the exact same set of dances to the same songs. But it turns out that there are SO many different Zumba songs. I know from trying to find online the names of the songs that we dance to. I listened to over 200 Zumba tracks on Grooveshark the other day and didn’t find a single one that we use in our class.

The first week I felt really self conscious over the whole bum-shaking/boobie shimmying aspect of the classes. I’m not sexy in the slightest, and I’ve never been one to throw sexy shapes, even in salsa and the like. This is why I prefer cheerleading – it’s precise and robotic and energetic! However, the time before last the room was split into two and we had what could only be described as a ‘bum shaking contest’. Everyone looked ridiculous. So I feel more at ease to worry that my leggings are too tight and my bum is like a blancmange and just shake my behind as hard as my legs will allow.

Days after Zumba are just so painful, mainly in my lower back. But I have seen that my hips are looking less hippy, and my bum looks a bit nicer too. I’m shaping up in the areas that I want to shape up in – probably from all the bum shaking.

Zumba is contagious. It’s not a dance class, it’s not a fitness class. It’s a cult. It’s a way of thinking. It shows you to just let go and be silly and sweat like you’ve never sweated before. If you know there is a class near you and are thinking of going, just go for it. Only… don’t come to mine, please – I don’t need anyone taking up my bum shaking space!


Fahrkarte Bitte! Train Life in Germany

Last night I was asked what I thought of German people. I explained that, although my experiences with my German flatmate may have made me make outlandish decisions on how I feel about German people, I find them to not have so many strange habits, and are very easy to get along with and are always helpful and friendly.

However, there is one area that most Brits over here will tell you is very annoying about Germany and German people and that is train travel.

To people who are not British, or who have never been to Britain, who have never encountered a British person before – our national sports are queuing, and travel etiquette.   So, when we come to Germany and find German people pushing in front of you in a race to be the ones to open the train doors before the train has stopped, or when trying to get off a train you’re faced with a group of people trying to get on the train and so your path is blocked… you can understand our frustration!

I haven’t had much negative culture shock here but I do get a bit passive aggressive when these two things happen to me. I usually stand blocking peoples’ way until they let me off the train, or when someone pushes in front of me to open the door I usually tell them that actually I’m getting off as well. The race to open the door is just comical – they’re like children fighting over who gets to press the button to cross the road.

Train life in general here is very good though. Despite the frequent protests and strikes, the trains are usually on time and reliable. There are no wickets so people are trusted to be holding their ticket, or their monthly card. Monthly cards cost 78 Euros a month but a very good tip is that if you don’t have to take trains before 9am, you can get a “9 o’clock ticket” which only costs 62 Euros. This is a tip that I didn’t know until recently, and a friend of mine complained that I hadn’t instantly shared the information. It’s worth noting that you can have one non-ticket-holding friend with you after 7pm on weekdays and at weekends. More info on monthly tickets can be found HERE.

Although you are trusted to carry your ticket with you, there are of course people who go round and check tickets. I find this quite funny too, because these people dress like ‘normal people’ and as soon as the doors are shut and locked, they stand up and announce themselves. I’ve been here 10 months now and I’ve been checked maybe 5 times in total. If you ask different people, they’ll have different theories on this. I feel I’ve been ticketed more on trams, but other people say they are ticketed mostly on the S Bahn on the way to work. I’ve only had that once though.

If anyone else out there has interesting information/stories about German train life, I’d love to hear them!

Restaurant Mirador

I LOVE this beer. I know this is a post about a restaurant but this is my new favourite drink. Grapefruit flavoured beer is AWESOME. In Rewe they also have pear and ginger ones too, but it’s not as nice.

Anyway, I went to Restaurant Mirador last week. It’s a lovely little place in Bornheim. Their regular menu was normal sandwiches/burgers/salads and so on, then they had a hand written weekly menu of German style things to choose from.

I went for some turkey with salsa and it was pretty nice. It had some German style spinach under it which was too salty/creamy/strong for me after I’d eaten half of it, but otherwise it was really nice.

Upstairs, they had a kind of bar area, with a smokers’ room too, I noticed. The staff didn’t try to speak English with us so that was nice for the old German practice. There was a football game coming up so they were pretty preoccupied and chatting and stuff but they were friendly enough.

I’d go back there again for sure, and maybe try to sit outside this time. This place is a nice little gem hidden on a long street of samey-places, so keep an eye out for it!

The Lady Who Lives Opposite Me

I have a small problem. I think the woman who lives across from my balcony has tourettes. She sits at the window, cigarette in hand, and yells “ARGH!!” over and over. She looks like she shouts at people in the street, but I think she is just yelling. I don’t know why I didn’t notice this until recently, perhaps it’s that now it’s warm, she’s at the window more. But it’s really annoying to have her shouting all day.

I don’t know what to do because I feel bad for her and everything, and she obviously has problems but this is also a country where you can’t use bottle banks on Sundays, or play music in your own room after 10pm or dance in the streets because they are so concerned over noise annoyance. I wonder if she lives alone, and if so, does she need any help? Sitting at the window all day, smoking and yelling isn’t really the kind of life someone should have. I wonder if someone will complain/intervene…

Cafe/Restaurant – Schopenhauer

In my quest to find Frankfurt’s number one home made lemonade, I went to my favourite cafe/bar/restaurant, Schopenhauer.

You may remember me saying that I LOVE their brunches here. If you have 18 euros to spend and a Sunday morning with nothing to do, then I highly recommend it. If, however, you are trying to find tasty home made lemonade, you should not go there. It made me sad in my heart that the taste was boring, there was nothing special about it and it was just average in every way. Probably one of the worst lemonades I’ve had in Frankfurt. :-(

They have all you can eat pasta nights on Monday night, so if you don’t have a membership to the wheat-free club like I do, I recommend that too!

Make-Up Post – Benefit vs Essence

It’s not like I have big bags under my eyes, but I have problems with the skin around my eyes being very grey, especially on the arch of my nose. The skin just seems so … weak… it’s like it’s just thin paper or something… anyway. I like to cover this all up and have lovely eyes!

Let’s start with Benefit.

Mum bought this for me back when I was living in Japan. I’d seen my more wealthy friends at uni use Benefit products so I was really excited that *I* was able to own some too. It comes with a weird little spoon thing. It’s kinda hard to use. It’s pretty good at covering but it’s pretty thick too. This is what I’ve found with other Benefit products – that they are in general very thick and greasy. I’ve been using this for over a year now.. It does the job but it’s not amazing. Since it’s around €20 I’d expect a little more.

Now for Essence. This is my favourite brand here. I love it. This Forget It! 3 in 1 concealer costs about €3 and has a red section for under the eyes, beige as a concealer and green to correct redness. The red section works just as well as the Benefit product! At a fraction of the price! The green section I also use but it doesn’t blend so well. The concealer is pretty good but a little too thick, though not as much as Benefit.

People are always saying that I should spend more on products and that you get what you pay for. I really don’t think that’s true. Especially with Essence around – pocket money price and pretty awesome products. I’ll do more posts on what I use from them another time.

I have work today even though it’s a Saturday. I feel so passionately about this current product. I feel I am becoming the person I’ve always wanted to be. So I don’t mind in the slightest giving up a day sat in bed blogging for work!