Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Review: Baby Foot - want smooth heels?

This is a review for Baby Foot.  This is a product which helps dead skin on your feet peel off.


During the summer, a lot of Japanese magazines show how to get dead skin cells off of your feet, especially your heels. Having cracked, powdery heels in considered unattractive by Japanese media. There are a lot of products, such as pumice stones and heel files, designed to help you get rid of the dead skin cells.

Baby Foot is an innovative product in that it promotes getting rid of dead skin cells without using physical abrasives. There are a few other brands of the similar products, but this was the first one that I learned of.

This product has attracted a lot of attention in Japan, partially due to their marketing.  They prominently show pictures of the product in action (links to their website).


The main purpose for me to review this product was to assess whether it was worth the hype. Is it just great marketing, or does the product actually work well?

What it does: (from http://babyfoot.co.jp/e/product/)
Baby Foot series is developed in particular to care for the dead skin cells which produce problems with the sole. The principal ingredient of Baby Foot is Fruit Acid which is very gentle compare to other acid. Fruit Acid penetrates into the layer of dead skin cells and works on the desmosomes between the skin layers, enabling easier peeling. The dead skin peels off naturally due to natural turnover (*1) and friction which occurs every day. In addition, Baby Foot contains 17 types of natural extracts with a high moisturizing power. The foot may be reborn just like a baby’s after peeling. The Baby Foot series is a total foot care series not only for peeling but also for maintaining a healthy foot.


Price: 1680 JPY  (around $22 USD). I felt this was pricey even for Japan, where most drugstore products are above 1000 JPY ($13 USD). 

Instructions:
This is what is included in the box - a plastic bag-type thing, made to look like a sock, with some gel inside. There are two of these in the box, one for each foot, plus some tape.


Instructions are printed on the back of the box.
Put a clean foot inside the bag and tape it shut. After 2 hours, take the bag off and wash your feet.


Here are some additional thoughts I had about using this product:
1. Since the bags have gel inside them, it is really dangerous to walk around with these bags on your feet. Your feet will slide around when trying to walk.
2. Because of the this, consider how you will spend your two hours.
3. There is no immediate peeling. I started peeling 2 days after I did this treatment.
4. I started peeling from the parts of my foot where the skin is thinnest, such as the arch of my foot.
5. The part of the skin that remained the longest was my heel, meaning where my skin was toughest.
6. The skin peels when there is a combination of moisture and friction. I walked outside on a hot, sunny day with sandals and my skin began to peel a lot. Consider where you'll be while the skin is peeling (for example, I would probably not go on a date until my skin stopped peeling)
7. This product only took off the outermost layer of skin.  The skin on my heel remained tough.


Here is my foot on Day 3
(yep, that gross thing on the floor is a piece of skin)


Here is my foot on Day 5
The red area is where my skin already peeled. You can see that part of the skin is pinker than the rest.
The blue area is where my skin hasn't peeled yet.  My heel is where my skin is toughest, and the part where I wanted the most dramatic change.


Pros:
  • Actually removes the dead skin cells on the outer layer of your skin
  • Visually interesting

Cons:
  • Does not have a dramatic change on the parts where your skin is thick. 
  • The effect is not long lasting, since your skin will keep regenerating
  • Expensive

Would I repurchase? No. Yes, this is an interesting product, but it did not work well on my heel, which is the area I needed it to work the most on.

My heels are really horrid, as you can see from the picture. If you have had a spa treatment or a pedicure which really gets rid of cracked heels, please let me know!

Hope you enjoyed this review!

xoxo, K

Friday, October 21, 2011

Weekly Reads #35: October 21, 2011


On to my weekly reads!


xoxo, K

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

How to pack skin care and makeup for traveling

As you may know, I used to travel extensively for work. I've had a few trips when I was home for only 2 days before going on another business trip!  There are a few things I learned during this time which has helped me a lot when it comes to packing skin care and makeup.

How can you pack without forgetting things? How can you know how much skin care products you should bring? How can you bring just enough makeup - not too much and not too little?
Read on to learn my tips and tricks!

1. I have a packing list
This is a list of everything I pack when I go away. This list has everything from my passport, to my cellphone charger (which I tend to forget), to clothes.  EVERYTHING.


I'm pretty good about clothes. As long as I have "clothes", "underwear", "socks", "bras" on the list, I won't forget anything. I usually make a separate packing list for the actual clothes I'm going to bring, to ensure that I don't bring too much or too little. 

This list is tailored to my own needs, so it has a lot of things that you probably won't need. For example, steel-toed shoes are on the list since I need them for work.  This list is something I've written down in a small notepad I bring everywhere with me. As my needs change, I have changed things on this list.

2. I have a list of things not yet in my suitcase
I always pack on the weekend prior to my departure date.  This gives me enough time to buy something if I need it before the trip.

However, if I pack that much in advance, there are a lot of things that I can't yet put into my suitcase.  For example, I'll use my toothbrush until the morning that I leave.  I need a way to remember what I haven't packed yet.

See the yellow post-it on the picture above?  That is everything which I have not yet put into my suitcase. I write down everything that I haven't packed yet so that I remember to pack them on the morning of the flight, such as my laptop and glasses.  I cross things off as I put them into by bag.

I'm usually in a rush in the morning before my flight. This post-it note has helped me so many times!

3. I know how much shampoo/shower gel/makeup remover I need to bring


This is an excerpt from the notebook I mentioned above. It shows how much cleanser, toner, shampoo, etc that I need to bring with me.
For example, if I'm going on a 5-day trip, I know I need to bring 4ml * 5days = 20ml of shampoo with me. On the other hand, if I'm going on a month long trip, I need to bring 150ml of shampoo. 
This helps me not overpack and still not run out of things that I need.

You might think I'm OCD to make a list like this.  I've been on month-long business trips to developing nations.  Things like having nice shampoo or cleanser to use really made a difference in relieving the stress I got, both from working in a new place and not being able to do things for fun.

If you are going somewhere where you know you can buy things that you need, you wouldn't need a list like this. However, there are many times where you don't know which brands you should buy, or even where you should buy it!

You might want to know how I figured out how much of each thing I need. I filled several travel-sized bottles with these things, and kept track of how many days it took to use them up.  I was careful to use the "normal" amount, and not skimp on anything. You can see from the notes above - I used a 125 ml bottle of contact lens solution in 35 days = 3.3 ml/day.

All of my skin care stuff goes into this bag from Muji.  The hook on top is very convenient to hang from towel hangers and the like.


4. I know I have just enough makeup
This bag, also from Muji, has all the makeup I need.  If you've seen my "rotating makeup" post, you'll know that I am very good at selecting enough products that I can make different looks and not be bored for 2-3 weeks.


Before I go on my trip, I will pack this bag, and try using ONLY the products from this bag for 2-3 days. This helps me in 2 ways. 

First, I'll notice if there is anything that I need which I have forgotten.  I've forgotten to pack things like foundation, and also things like tweezers and scissors which I only use every few days, but that I need to bring on a longer trip.

Second, I'll notice if there are products which I haven't touched.  When I do my makeup, I typically dump everything out of this bag onto a table, and put things back into the bag as I use them.  Anything that is remaining on the table when I finish my makeup hasn't been used.  I notice when the same things remain on the table.  This way, I'll know if 5 lipsticks is too many for me (yes, it is), or if 8 eyeshadows is too many for me (no, it's not).  For example, I noticed before my last trip that my highlighter was always left on the table. I realized that the blush I was bringing was so shimmery that I didn't need a highlighter, and I decided not to bring it on my trip.


That's about it for makeup and skin care.  Some typical travel tips just don't work for me, such as bringing things that are dual purpose (I would rather bring two small things).

Remember what you learned from each trip, and try to find what works best for you!

xoxo, K

Monday, October 17, 2011

Weight Loss: Your Support System

I've never had a good relationship with my parents. When I got a job, I was SO happy because I didn't have to work in Tokyo, which meant I could move out (most kids whose parents live in the Tokyo area and go to Tokyo universities live at home because rent is REALLY expensive)

 Still, I call them every weekend to keep them happy.  Lately, when I call my parents, all they talk about is that I need to diet and lose weight. I tell them that I run for 1 hr on weekends, and they tell me that it's not enough.  My mom tells me that I can't lose weight through exercising, that I have to eat less, even though I distinctly remember her telling me 6 months ago that eating less won't make me lose weight (or so she heard on some TV show). 

So, 1 hour every week of being told by my parents that I need to lose weight. Even if I talk about what I'm doing to lose weight, I get no encouragement.  Oh wait, I've never gotten encouragement or praise from them EVER in my life.  Seriously, I have never been praised by my parents.

Remember, all the time I'm paying for the overseas call.  Yeah, not fun. 



I've been asked why I blog about my weight loss.  I haven't been successful (unlike Wardrobe Oxygen), but I still blog about it.  It's all because I need the support I can get through my blog, which I can't get in my normal life.  Thank you to all of you who have told me not to give up, who have given me tips, and who have shared your personal struggles with me.

This week's weigh in: 67.0 kg (-1.0 kg)

xoxo, K

Friday, October 14, 2011

Weekly Reads #34: October 14, 2011



Even with all the great posts on the holiday collections, and all the hype about when the Sephora Friends & Family sale will be, it was difficult to find blog posts that were truly inspiring.  I guess the holiday collections don't interest me too much this year, probably because I'm in retail starvation mode (as in, I haven't bought anything since last December).

xoxo, K


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Review: Lush Gingerbread House Bubble Bar - Soak in gingerbread bubbles!

This is a review on the Lush Gingerbread House Bubble Bar. I bought this in Hawaii last year. This was a limited edition product last year that Lush has rereleased this year!

Note: This product is being rereleased for the 2012 holiday season!

I have just uploaded a post on how to make your bubble bars last longer. Please take a look!

What it does: (from lush.co.uk)

Ginger and spice and all things nice. That’s what our little bubble bar house is made of. With its Ilittle snowy roof and cinnamon stick chimney, this bubble bar looks as good as its edible cousins. But, when you come to use this one, instead of a stale gingerbread biscuit, you get mountains of spicy, fruity foam and a jolly good wash. With ginger powder and ginger essential oil, this is a warming little number. But we’ve also given it lemon oil and a fruity scent based around the blackcurrant notes of buchu oil. It’s a wonderful treat that you’ll want to lose yourself in. If you’re feeling the winter blues a soak in this will help you find your way out of the woods.

Price: $6.95 US, 2.95 GBP UK. 
This is about $0.50 more expensive than the price last year.  In Japan, it was 700 JPY last year. This product has not yet been released yet in Japan, so I don't know if the price will go up, like in the US/UK, or if it will stay the same considering the Japanese Yen is extremely strong.

Update for 2012: The updated prices are $6.95 in the US and 3.95GBP in the UK

Scent: This product smells like sweet ginger. I love it!

Pros:
  • I love the scent!
  • This product left my skin moisturized but not oily or greasy
  • I got lots of great bubbles from this bubble bar

Cons:
  • This product is kind of expensive to use only once. (unless you buy it in the UK, where it is pretty affordable)

Would I repurchase? This is a product that I wouldn't repurchase regularly, but it's nice to have one for the holidays. It's also a great stocking stuffer!

Hope you enjoyed this review!  I also have reviews for other Lush holiday items that are being rereleased this year, such as Snow Fairy Shower Gel, Snow Globe Soap, Glogg Shower Gel, Angel's Delight Soap, Snowcake Soap, and Buche de Noel Cleanser!

xoxo, K

Monday, October 10, 2011

Weight Loss: Help, I'm stuck in a rut

I'm officially stuck in a rut.

My weight hasn't changed much for the past month.  I'm really trying to change up my routine - eating less, eating healthier, cutting out alcoholic drinks...  But still, no change.

I've also started running on a treadmill.  I hate running on a treadmill because I get bored really easily.  For a long time, I couldn't run because it was super boring to me.  But the weather over here is cooling off really fast, and it will too cold to run outside by the end of this month.  Hence, I've started running on a treadmill.

Running on a treadmill does have its benefits.  I run at the same pace, which keeps me from slacking off.  I know I'm running more intensively than when I ran outside.  I've noticed that even if I wake up in the morning with a huge headache, running eases the pain (although honestly, it's tough to get out of bed with a raging headache). 

So yeah.  I'm not sure what to do.  Any advice?


This week's weigh in: 68.0 kg (-0.2kg)

xoxo, K

Friday, October 7, 2011

Weekly Reads #33: October 7, 2011

  • 3 lessons learned from getting bangs, via the Makeup and Beauty Blog. I grew up with bangs but I last got them 3-4 years ago... I grew them out ASAP because I couldn't deal with the hassle!
  • What to wear to an interview, via Phyrra. Fantastic tips! I always err on the conservative side.
  • How to shop at Big Lots, via Jeweled Thumb. These tips work great at any store!
  • How to make sourdough bread, via Pinch My Salt. This post includes her daily observations about starting a sourdough starter. If you were a Little House fan when you were young, you'll love it!
  • Soybean Sprout Bibimbap, via Maangchi. If you like Korean food, subscribe to her youtube channel!  I love this recipe - TONS of soybean sprouts and very little rice/meat. Sounds pretty healthy!
xoxo, K

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Products I'm using now

Instead of a Favorites post this month, I want to share the products I'm trying out right now.

I've linked to products that I've already done a review on. Hopefully I'll have reviews for the other products soon!

What I'm using now
Shampoo: Lush Godiva Solid Shampoo


Conditioner: Vidal Sassoon
Deep hair treatment: Vidal Sassoon Premium Intensive Hair Mask
Styling products: none, I have to wear my hair in a ponytail at work so I don't bother to style it
Shower gel: Lush It's Raining Men


Body moisturizer: Clinique Happy Body Polisher


Deodorant: Seabreeze Deo + Water (Deo + Water is the name of the product)


Face Wash: Lush Snow Fairy Shower Gel


Exfoliator: Queen Helene Oatmeal 'n Honey Facial Scrub


Primer: L'Oreal Studio Secrets Smoothing Resurfacing Primer


Foundation Brush: Sonia Kashuk Brush Couture Flat Top Multipurpose Blush/Powder Brush


Foundation: Castledew VOV Watershot Foundation
Concealer: Canmake Cover & Stretch concealer
Powder: Kate loose powder that I'm trying to use up, mixed with some silica from Coastal Scents
Blush: Milani Luminous
Bronzer: Lancome Star Bronzer
Highlighter: don't need one with Milani Luminous, it's very shimmery
Eyeshadow base: Urban Decay Primer Potion + NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils
Eyeshadows: (all loose pigments!) Coastal Scents Sunstone + MAC Goldstroke + Fyrinnae Mystic
Eyeliner: Revlon Colorstay Liquid Eyeliner + Milani Liquif' Eye
Mascara: Max Factor 2000 Calorie Extreme
Lipstick: Dior Addict High Shine 222 Casual Beige
Lipgloss: Stila Kitten

 It's interesting that I have pictures of most of the skin care & base makeup items, but not of the color makeup items.  I hope I can have reviews up soon!

Please let me know if there are any products that you would like me to review.

What products have you been using recently?

xoxo, K

Sunday, October 2, 2011

How to get the most out of your bath bombs and bubble bars

Bath bombs are great, but there are some times when the bomb is just too big for your bath.  Cutting them in two can be a messy process.  This is what I do to get the most out of my bath bombs!

The technique mentioned here is especially good for Lush Bubble Bars. A Bubble Bar is like a bath bomb to make a bubble bath.  If you just throw your bubble bar into the bath, you won't get very many bubbles.  This technique will help you get the most out of your bubble bar with the least amount of product!

(Note: I didn't come up with this method by myself.  I probably found it on some blog or youtube video, but I can't remember which one!)

What you need
1. A Bubble Bar or bath bomb

This is a Lush Gingerbread House Bubble Bar which I bought in Hawaii last year.


2. A cheese grater











 (stock photo)


3. A bag made out of mesh, or the toe end of a piece of pantyhose
I used a bag like this one:





















(stock photo)

Steps
1. Grate some of the bubble bar. How much you need will depend on how big your bath tub is and how much product you want.  I used about 1/3.


2. Put the grated product into the bag
3. Put the bag over the bath faucet so that water goes directly into the bag
4. Run bath as normal
5. Relax and enjoy your bath!


By grating the product, it's easier to dissolve.  By putting it in a bag directly under the faucet, you're making sure that all the water in the tub gets the great stuff in the product.

Try it out - this really works!

xoxo, K

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