Monday, January 28, 2013

Review: Seabreeze Deo + Water Deodorant - a staple!

This is a review for the Seabreeze Deo + Water Deodorant. This product is a favorite of mine, and I have featured it on my blog before - most notably in last year's "Products I'm Using Now" post.

It was very hard for me to get information about the Seabreeze brand. Although the English Wikipedia says it started in the US and there is a US website, the Japanese Wikipedia says the brand has closed operations in the US.  In Japan, the Seabreeze brand is part of Shiseido and sells bath and body products.  The brand is most well known for its antiseptic with strong menthol.



This product is a liquid with some powder which settles to the bottom.  The powder is supposed to keep you dry. The instructions suggest you shake the bottle well, then pour some in your hand, and then apply the liquid to your underarms. Considering the texture is like water, this method doesn't work well for me. Instead, I pour some into a small spray bottle.

Easily obtainable at the nearest 100 yen store
Price: varies, I typically pay around 600 JPY (around $7.50)

Ups:
  • At the time when I started using this product (in the mid-90s), it was the only non-aerosol deodorant available on the market in Japan
  • I love the cooling feeling I get from the menthol. It helps me to stop sweating quickly.
  • Although it contains alcohol, I spray it on my face during the summer.
  • This product comes in a whopping 8 different scents
I typically buy the orange one, which is Soap. The pink one is Peach Cooler.  Why would anyone want to smell like peach?  However, lots of Japanese deodorants smell fruity or florally.

Cons:
  • The product does not keep me dry all day (Although to be fair, this is not an antiperspirant)
Would I repurchase? Yes, I have repurchased this countless times!

The difference between Japanese and American deodorants is so interesting. In the US, stick deodorants seem to be the most popular (at least, the first 32 search results on Walmart's website were all stick deodorants). In Japan, aerosol deodorants are by far more popular.  In fact, I've never seen a stick deodorant on the market in Japan. 
(8x4 and Ban are two very popular brands. Image from Rakuten)
I've also never seen an antiperspirant in Japan.  Although the word for these products is 制汗剤, which means "product which controls sweat", most products advertise "preventing bad body odor" and not "keeping dry".  Interesting!

Although it is getting cooler in many parts of the world, it's still important to control body odor. And please don't get me started on all those people who think perfume is an acceptable alternative to deodorant...

Hope you enjoyed this review!

xoxo, K

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Weekly Reads #95: January 27, 2013


What were your favorite posts this week? 
Connect with me! I love chatting and connecting with people, and sharing interesting stuff around the web!

You can also subscribe to Cosmeddicted through the feedemail, or Bloglovin!

xoxo, K

Friday, January 25, 2013

Review: Muji Asuka Nabe set - A traditional hotpot from Nara


February is the coldest time of the year in Japan, and I am still enjoying regular hotpots. I recently tried out a new set from Muji, this time the Asuka Nabe set.

Asuka Nabe is a traditional hotpot from Nara prefecture. The base is chicken stock with milk added. The set included a packet of chicken stock, as well as a packet of ginger flavored stock so that you can enjoy a change in the flavor part way through.



Unfortunately, this was not as memorable to me as the Ishikari Nabe set that I tried earlier. I also felt that this was a little too salty for my tastes.

from Muji Japan, 399JPY (around $5), serves 3-4.

Hope you enjoyed this review!

xoxo, K

Monday, January 21, 2013

Review: Pure Smile Bubble Face Mask in Pearl

This is a review for the Pure Bubble Face Mask in Pearl. This is an easy way to try carbonated masks, which are becoming pretty popular. This is from the same line as the Snake Venom masks which I reviewed recently.


This is sold in bottles, but it is also sold in single use packets as shown above.

What it does: (from the Pure Smile website)
The bubbles improve blood circulation in the face, pushing out toxins and improving the smoothness of the skin.

Price: 2100JPY (around $25 USD) for a 200g bottle, or 105JPY (around $1.25 USD) for a single use package.

Pros:
  • This is fun to use! Apply it to your wet face, and then the gel will foam up, creating a creamy lather
Cons:
  • I didn't really see a difference in my skin after using this.

Would I repurchase? Maybe. This is fun to use, and the single use package makes it a fun extra gift. 

I really wish I could see some benefit from this product! I might be able to see some difference if I continue using this product, but I really would like to see some change after a single use.

xoxo, K

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Weekly Reads #94: January 20, 2013


What were your favorite posts this week? 
Connect with me! I love chatting and connecting with people, and sharing interesting stuff around the web!

You can also subscribe to Cosmeddicted through the feedemail, or Bloglovin!

xoxo, K

Friday, January 18, 2013

K's Kitchen - Cilantro Lime Shrimp from Simply Recipes

Although I cook pretty regularly, I like to follow recipes. I'm trying to improve on making stuff out of stuff that I have in the kitchen.  This recipe is a good starting point for me to learn to make things quickly.


Adapted from Simply Recipes, shared on Weekly Reads #66 (July 2012)

Prep time: 5 min Total time: 20 min

Ingredients:
- 2 Tablespoons high smoke point oil
- 1-2 serrano chiles, sliced into thin rings (I used a different kind of chile)
- 1-2 garlic clobes, sliced thinly
- 500g shrimp, peeled & deveined (I used frozen shrimp that I defrosted in salted water, as suggested in the original recipe)
- salt
- 60ml chopped cilantro
- 1-2 Tablespoons lime juice (I used kabosu, see below)

Note: I used kabosu, a kind of Japanese citrus fruit used to season food.

Instructions:
1.Place a large frying pan over high heat and add oil. Add the chiles to the pan, and toss to coat with oil.
2. Add the shrimp and garlic to the pan, and sprinkle with salt. Toss to coat with oil.
3. Let the shrimp cook undisturbed for 1 min. Stir fry until cooked through, 2-3 min
4. Tur off the heat and mix in the cilantro and lime juice

I made some spaghetti and tossed the shrimp with it.  This was super easy, and had the fresh, light taste which I enjoy. Next time, I will try this with some short pasta! 

Hope you enjoyed this recipe!

xoxo, K

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Welcome to Chion-in Temple - with Jamilla Camel

While in Kyoto, Jamilla and I also visited Chion-in Temple.

Chion-in Temple (知恩院) is head temple of Jodo-shu, the most commonly practiced branch of Bhuddism in Japan. The original temple was built in the 13th century, but most of the buildings which survive to this day were built in the 17th century.


There is about a 5 minute walk from the entrance of the temple, to Sanmon, the main gate... and then another long climb up some steps to get to the temple itself. Sightseeing in Japan is not for people who cannot walk!

Sanmon Gate is one of the National Treasures of Japan. 
(This is the umpteenth time that I mention that something is a National Treasure, but to be fair - many of them are located in Kyoto)

One of the things I love about Kyoto is that it is a great mix of urban city life and traditional scenery. You can see modern buildings in the background.

The temple itself is under renovation until 2014. It was quite beautiful and there were many tourists there to see the buildings and scenery.

Hope you enjoyed this trip to Chion-in Temple in Kyoto, Japan!

xoxo, K

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Review: Bioderma Sebium H2O Non-Rinse cleanser - the blue Bioderma

Bioderma has been creating a buzz on the beauty world for a while. When I saw it at a pretty good price at a Japanese drugstore, I decided to give it a try.
 
This is a review for the Bioderma Sebium H2O Solution Purifying Non-Rinse Cleanser for Combination or Oily Skin.

What it does: (from Bioderma's website)
BIODERMA innovation, Sébium H2O gently cleanses the skin without drying it, through the micro-emulsion of impurities and excess sebum. Enriched with purifying active ingredients, Sébium H2O cleanses the epidermis in depth and regulates secretion of sebum. The patented sebo-correcting complex, Fluidactiv®, normalises sebum quality.

Price: will vary, I see this online for $25-30 for the 500ml bottle. There is also a 100ml bottle.

How to use:
This is basically a cleanser/makeup remover. Soak a cotton pad with the product, and rub your face. You do not need to rinse the product off, but the website suggests to dry your face after using.

Pros:
  • it does a really good job at removing face makeup!
  • Not having to rinse my face after using it is a big plus
Cons: 
  • I cannot use it to remove my eye makeup. It does not remove mascara at all. (Bioderma's website does say to not use it around the eyes)
  • For me, this was a good level of drying/moisturizing qualities, but it may be harsh for some people
Would I repurchase? Maybe, if I can find it at a good price.

Have you tried this product after all the buzz online? Please let me know what you think!

xoxo, K

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Weekly Reads #93: January 13, 2013

About 2 weeks ago, I changed the layout of my blog. I also cleaned out my blog roll, deleting some blogs which hadn't been updated in a while. Let me know if you have started updating again - I'm always on the look out for new blogs to read!

What were your favorite posts this week? 
Connect with me! I love chatting and connecting with people, and sharing interesting stuff around the web!

You can also subscribe to Cosmeddicted through the feedemail, or Bloglovin!

xoxo, K

Friday, January 11, 2013

Review: Muji Ishikari Nabe set - a traditional hotpot from Hokkaido

My dinners in the winter consist mainly of hotpot. It is a great way to eat hot, tasty, healthy food, and is easy to prepare. Although I typically make my own, I recently purchased a set from Muji to make Ishikari Nabe.


Ishikari Nabe is a traditional hotpot from Hokkaido, which typically includes salmon and vegetables in a miso-based soup. Hokkaido is famous for its salmon and potatoes, and therefore it is quite fitting that a local hotpot would include them.

This set from Muji includes a miso paste which you mix with water to form the soup base. It also includes a packet of kasu (the leftover paste from making sake, often used as a flavoring agent) so that you can enjoy a change in the flavor midway through your hotpot.


My hotpot turned out quite delicious!


The kasu was increased the umami of the hotpot and made this quite delicious! This was a great introduction into a new kind of hotpot, and I want to try and make it from scratch next time!

From Muji Japan, 399JPY (around $5), serves 3-4

Hope you enjoyed this review!

xoxo, K

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Eating, shopping, and walking around Hong Kong

I always enjoy shopping in Hong Kong. Somehow, I always end up in Mong Kok. Sai Yeung Choi Street South in Mong Kok is blocked off during shopping hours (after 4 PM on weekdays and the entire day on weekends), and the street was full of shoppers.

I have been going to Hong Kong pretty regularly since I started working, and I have noticed a steady increase in Mainland tourists. There is more Mandarin Chinese (the standard language of the Mainland) than Cantonese (the standard language of Hong Kong) spoken, and now most of the sales people will speak Mandarin first.


One of my favorite things to do is to eat street food from one of the many street food vendors in Mong Kok. Find one that is busy, and they are all pretty yummy.

Shao Mai, one of the most common street foods available.


I also went to the Mid Levels Escalator for the first time. This is a group of escalators that connect Central (a shopping/business area, and also connection to the MTR) and the Mid Levels (a residential area, especially for expats). It was quite interesting to see the different restaurants and apartments as the escalator went up to the Mid Levels.

Hope you enjoyed my trip to Hong Kong!

xoxo, K

Monday, January 7, 2013

Review: Nivea Skin Milk in Shittori - Nivea hand cream in a bottle?

This is a review for the Nivea Skin Milk in Shittori.  Many moisturizing products in Japan, such as lotions, toners, and creams, come in 2 versions - Shittori ("moist" = more moisturizing) and Sappari ("refreshing" = less moisturizing).

Due to the dry climate of where I lived in China, I started putting body lotion on my body regularly, even in the summer.  When I moved back to Japan, I stopped doing so because I thought that the climate was humid enough for me.  I was so wrong! Unfortunately, my entire body started itching, similar to a year ago when I woke up in the middle of the night from scratching myself!

What it does: (from Nivea's website)
This body lotion keeps your body's natural moisture
Protects your body from dryness and other external environmental damage
Contains taurine, an occlusive, to slow the evaporation of moisture 
(Note: In Japan, Nivea is owned by Kao, a major cosmetics company)

Price: Will vary, Amazon Japan has this at around 500-600 JPY for 200ml (around $7 USD)

Pros:
  • very moisturizing. My skin did not feel dry until I showered again.
  • smells like the traditional Nivea hand cream
  • Packaging is easy to hold and easy to control how much product is squeezed out
Cons:
  • This product is very hard to spread.  If you've ever tried the traditional Nivea hand cream, you'll know that it is hard to massage on your hands and tends to pull. This is similar.

Would I repurchase? Maybe. This is a great body lotion to moisturize my body. Hopefully I can find something which is as moisturizing but that I can spread easily!

What is your favorite body lotion? Hope you enjoyed this review!

xoxo, K

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Weekly Reads #92: January 6, 2013

Happy New Year everyone! Thank you for supporting Cosmeddicted, and I hope 2013 brings lots of happiness for you!!

How did you spend your New Year's Eve/Day?  January 1 is a big holiday in Japan, and this is the first time in 3 years that I spent it at my parents' house.  When I was younger, all the stores closed down from Dec 31 to Jan 3, but now most of the stores only close on Jan 1. Surprisingly, a lot of stores are even open on Jan 1.  This is the equivalent of stores being open on Thanksgiving Day or Christmas in the US - really surprising!

Lots of  2012 round ups and 2013 goals in this week's picks.  What were your favorite posts this week? 

Connect with me! I love chatting and connecting with people, and sharing interesting stuff around the web!
You can also subscribe to Cosmeddicted through the feedemail, or Bloglovin!

xoxo, K

Friday, January 4, 2013

K's Kitchen - Chicken Meatballs with Tomatoes and Basil

This was originally a turkey meatball recipe, but I changed it to chicken because ground turkey is not widely available in Japan. Actually, I modified this recipe drastically... Beware, the notes may be longer than the actual recipe!


HEAVILY adapted from Simply Recipes, shared on Weekly Reads #31 (September 2011)

Yield: Serves 4
Prep time: 20 minutes  Total Time 35 minutes
 
Ingredients
- 340g ground turkey (replaced with ground chicken. Get thigh meat if you can)
- 60ml sour cream (replaced with half a block of firm tofu)
- 1/2 egg (I always get annoyed with recipes that ask for half an egg. I used a whole one)
- 60ml bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 40ml flour, for dredging

- 30ml olive oil
- 1/4 jalapeno chili, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoon white wine
- 340g fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped (I used a can of crushed tomatoes)
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, thinly sliced

Instructions
1. Mix together the first 11 ingredients. Form meatballs, around 10 (I must be making much smaller meatballs. I got 15)
2. Heat olive oil on meadium high heat in a large shallow pan, and cook meatballs. Brown meatballs on both sides, and reduce to medium low heat to cook through. Set aside meatballs.
3. Add chili and garlic to pan and cook 1 min. Add white wine and cook down the sauce
4. Return meatballs to pan and coat with sauce. Add tomatoes and heat just until they begin to break down. Add basil before serving. (Since I used crushed tomatoes, effectively making this a tomato sauce, I added salt and pepper)



Thanks to the herbs, the meatballs were really tasty! I think tofu worked fine for this recipe, and made it just a touch healthier.  I will be making the meatballs again, perhaps with a different sauce next time.

Hope you enjoyed this recipe!

xoxo, K

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Favorites of 2012

Happy New Year everyone! I hope 2013 is a fantastic year for you!

Here are my favorite products of 2012. Can you believe it is the 3rd time I've done these yearly favorites?

As with each yearly favorites, I've tried to only include products which were new to me this year, or that I newly reviewed this year. Please check out my past favorites (2011, 2010, 2009) as I still love and recommend most of them!

Best new Skin care item

 I loved the bergamot scent!

This is a super convenient product - just apply it to your face and go to sleep.  Great for lazy people like me! I also loved that my skin quickly absorbed this and it did not leave a sticky residue.

 This is an incredibly moisturizing hand cream. I loved that it did not leave a strong scent on my hands. It is well worth the price!

Yes, I know - this is not a new product for me. In fact, this is my favorite make up remover! 


Best new makeup items
I'm probably the last person in the beauty blogger world to review these. HUGE thanks to my kind blogger friends who sent me these!
 I loved how this made my lashes look. I loved how this product lasted. I also loved how this clicks shut. L'Oreal has a few more mascaras in its Voluminous line, and I hope I have the chance to try them out soon!

 This is the ONLY nail polish I am buying from now on. I am a total klutz who can not keep nail polish from smudging, so this is totally the way to go! Plus, I love the different colors and designs available.

This is my favorite non-silicone face primer, and it does not have the orange undertone of the original Rimmel Fix and Perfect
 

Best tools
This is fantastic to quickly apply a thin layer of foundation. AND it's only $10!!!

Favorite new tips/tricks
Having a regular schedule helped me to commit to blogging. I strongly recommend it to any busy blogger!


Most reviewed brand on Cosmeddicted in 2012
Lush (12 times)
Anyone surprised? I didn't think so. 
This is the 3rd consecutive year that Lush was the most reviewed brand on this blog.
Out of 46 reviews that I did this year, Lush was by far the most reviewed brand. The second most reviewed brand, L'Oreal, had only 4 reviews.

Favorite new Lush item

I wasn't planning to include any limited edition items, but I really liked the smell of this shower gel. It reminds me of oranges and spices.


Favorite blog post of 2011
There are quite a few reasons why I loved this vacation. 
1.  I grew up in New York and I love the city. I need to go back every few years
2. I bought a DSLR just before this trip and I had fun learning how to use it.
3. This vacation put a lot of things into perspective for me

Most viewed blog post

I was really surprised at how popular this blog post was. It quickly became my number 1 viewed post, and I get tons of views daily.

In some ways, I was more surprised at how many views I got for this product, since it had been released quite a while before I got it, and it is more widely available compared to Baby Foot.

Please leave a comment letting me know what you would like to see more of this year!

Thanks again for your love and support to this blog!

xoxo, K

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