Even though the shipping takes forever (not their fault, I know), I love buying things from overseas. I don’t live in an area with a sizable Asian population, and so I don’t have easy access to a lot of imported brands.
Lately, I’ve found that I tend to prefer Asian drugstore brands because … well, they just seem to outperform US drugstore brands for me. Maybe it’s because I am Asian, and I’m just not suited for formulations mostly meant for Caucasian skin, hair, etc.
However, in this post, you’ll see this isn’t always the case.
These are some of the things I bought from my last two Sasa hauls. Because I get wordy, I’ll split this post into two parts.
Kanebo Kracie Naive is fast becoming one of my go-to cheap drugstore brands. So far, everything I’ve tried I’ve liked a lot! Kracie is the name Kanebo chose for the Naive line. You may see it around listed as only Kracie Naive, but it is definitely part of the Kanebo family.
Kanebo Kracie Naive Orange Cleansing Oil
I chose the orange because I didn’t know how the others would smell, and I prefer nice-smelling cosmetics. :3 It’s a nice bright zesty orange scent, but there’s a definite sharp undertone of alcohol.
Because it is so inexpensive, mineral oil is the main oil, but many studies have shown mineral oil is too large to pass through the pores and is otherwise cosmetically safe. I, personally, have seen a slight reduction in my acne since beginning to use this, but I’m not ready to say it’s because of the oil because of several other factors.
The flip top is a little awkward because the oil is rather liquidy, and a pump really would have been better. Of course, you can just transfer this into your pump of choice and problem solved. Me, I’m too lazy. xD
I only use this when I have a full face of makeup (waterproof eye makeup, foundation, etc.). If you’ve never used a cleansing oil before, it’s really great for removing all your makeup in one fell swoop. Just take an appropriate amount with dry hands, and massage it into your dry makeup-laden face. It might feel odd not to use water at first, but as you massage, you’ll feel the oil breaking up your makeup. After a minute or so, add some warm water to emulsify the oil, then rinse! I usually follow up with a plain facial wash (review to follow!) just to make sure I get all the oil off but some girls just skip this step. Just depends on your face type and your needs. :>
I’ve tried a sample of the Shiseido brightening cleansing oil, and so while I can’t definitely compare it across brands, I do think the Naive line performs just as well as the Shiseido. And at around $4-6 compared to whatever ludicrous price Shiseido is charging nowadays, you can’t beat it!
Kanebo Kracie Naive Pomegranate Facial Wash and Peach Deep-Cleansing Foam Wash
As I mentioned up there, I like to follow up my cleansing oil with a plain facial wash. I usually use Cetaphil (either the normal or Sensitive variety) but lately I really love the Kracie Naive face washes. With my combo skin, my face almost always gets dried out from normal face washes. I’ve even tried the super-rich Shiseido Benefiance face wash which left my face feeling like I’d dunked it in a vat of alcohol. :<) There are three types, as far as I am aware: a regular facial cleansing foam, a makeup removing foam, and a deep cleansing foam. I have not tried the makeup removing one yet. As far as the Pomegranate Facial Cleansing Foam, the tube is rather small, but it will last you forever! Literally, a tiny pea is all you need to get thick, rich foam. Afterwards, my skin is soft with no tight, dry feeling. It doesn’t smell much like pomegranate to my nose, but it’s fruity and tart and delicious all the same. I bought the deep cleansing foam for my boyfriend, who has oilier skin than me and was stealing my Pomegranate wash. (Don’t tell him I told!) The tube is a bit larger than the regular facial wash, and again, a small pea is all you’ll need. I did notice that the deep cleansing foam seemed to be a bit thicker in consistency than the regular, but when you lather it up, it has a more watery texture. Neither good nor bad, just something I noticed. The Peach, again, doesn’t smell much like peaches, but is lightly floral and sweet. I was wary of the deep cleansing foam at first, but it left my face feeling soft and clean just like the regular wash. According to the limited Japanese I can read, the deep cleansing foams are also supposed to remove makeup. However, when I used it, it was unable to remove all of my eyeliner (Urban Decay 24/7). I did not use the regular wash to try to remove makeup, so I can’t speak for its cleansing ability as far as that.
Shiseido Tsubaki shampoo and conditioner
I recently got a haircut and because I’m prone to split ends from blowdrying and flat ironing my hair, I decided to switch my haircare to protect my hair. Before, I let my hair airdry because I was lazy, and so I wasn’t so concerned about damage repair and such.
Some of my favorite shampoos and conditioners are from Herbal Essences. I’ve used the Hello Hydration and None of Your Frizzness lines for a few years, and been pleased with them. They smell delicious and leave my hair soft and shiny. I also use the John Frieda Brilliant Brunette line every now and then, but I feel my hair gets very greasy very quickly after just one day.
Because it’s so highly reviewed and one of the best-selling haircare lines in Asia, I decided to try out the Shiseido Tsubaki line. I had hiiiiigh hopes for this, I’ll be honest. I thought it would be the answer to life, the universe, and everything.
First, the good. It smells deeeelicious. It’s a sort of floral-y apple scent, almost. I’m that girl who’s stuck in the shampoo and body wash aisles for half an hour, sniffing every bottle. Scent is very important to me, and the Tsubaki shampoo and conditioner fit some of my favorite scent profiles (crisp floral, fruit, gourmand).
I was semi-disappointed at the size of the bottles when I first got them (they are approximately 3/4 to 4/5 the size of most US shampoos), but now I like them because they’re not big and bulky in the shower, and they’re very aesthetically pleasing with the red and gold. Also, you can purchase refill packs which is eco- and wallet-friendly. :>
But, alas… they’re not that great, to me. My hair was sort of dull-looking after the first use, and I’ve always had naturally shiny hair. It also “poodle puffed” at the ends (not frizz, exactly, but a bit of fluff) a lot more than the other shampoos I’m used to. It also feels odd while using it. After rinsing out the shampoo, my hair felt dry but … waxy? And the conditioner didn’t feel rich enough to be very moisturizing.
I’ve been using it for about two weeks now, and I’m still underwhelmed. I usually follow up my shampoo with a bit of John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Shine Shock glaze and that’s fixed the dullness and poodle puff, but I think I’ll skip this the next time and see how my hair fares without.
At this point, I probably won’t repurchase, which is a huge disappointment for me. :( The smell is great, it’s not outrageously expensive (still a bit more expensive than most drugstore brands), but it just isn’t working for me like I hoped.
I think I will try the Shiseido Ma Cherie line, or even the white Tsubaki Golden Repair line next. However, I am a bit tentative on the Golden Repair for obvious reasons.
I have a bit more to review, which will come in a later post!
Have you used any of these? What did you think?