Dariya Salon De Pro Hair Color Bubble Foam Dye 3 Bright Brown and 4A Ash Brown reviews / swatches

Ever since Kanebo Prettia had their infamous bubble foam hair die out 2 years back, these seem to be the latest trend all the major brands are following.

Other than Kanebo Prettia, "Salon de Pro" (a Japanese brand which is under Dariya Cosmetics group) is one of the first foaming bubble hair dyes aimed at better grey hair coverage.

I've actually used the Salon de Pro hair dye in shade "4A" (this is different to shade "4"), 4A is more ash based compared to 4, 4 will be more 'brown' with a neutral or redder base, while 4A is more "ash" which means more green/yellow base.  You can see the difference here, 4 is on the left and 4A is on the right:

The product's official website is here, unfortunately while the salon de pro line has other items, only the foaming hair dye seems to be available on ebay and most other websites (apart from going to an actual Japanese drugstore).

There are 12 colors total per website right now. the lower the first number, the "lighter" color it is. (e.g. 2 would be lighter than 3).  The suffix "MK" stands for mocha which means less red and more ash, while the "A" is the most ash shade. "WP" is for more reddish based (compared to shades without a suffix, e.g. 4WP is redder than 4.
This was the only table I can find for now which shows the color variation for 8 shades, shades closer to the top are lighter and bottom means darker, to the left means redder and to the right means less red (and more ash).

The shade names (based on adambeauty website translation) are:
2 Brighter Brown, 3 Bright Bwon, Light Brown, 5 Brown, 6 Dark Brown
3MK Bright Mocha brown, 3WP Bright Pure Brown, 4A Ash Brown, 4WP Warm pure brown, 5MK Mocha Brown.

I have used 5MK before and it was literally quite black- so I'd say 6 would get you almost full black. 5MK did fake slightly after a while but still quite brown black on me.

In July I used shade 4A, sorry I didn't take pics of the bottle or my hair color before this, but this is what it looked like after 3 weeks  (it didn't fade too much given my natural hair color is Asian and dark brown-black.).

Overall the "4A" shade gives me a luscious looking dark chocolate brown without much red, but not quite true ash brown either (true dark ash brown would look almost a bit green based- the dark ash brown is a very popular Japanese cosmetics magazine sort of hair shade). It's neutral or slightly cool toned which does not make me look sallow.

I liked the effect even after 3 weeks very very much and would go back to it this winter.

You can see my hair is still in a fairly good condition- I did experience slightly dryness at the ends but nothing bad if I use my Kerastase hair masques more intensively within first 2 or 3 weeks. (FYI I'm using Nutri-thermique hair masque but I like oleo-relax a slightest tinge more).

Below are reviews for Salon de pro bubble foam hair die in color "3". I dyed my hair with 3 after about 4-5 weeks of using 4A.  Although I loved the look of 4A, my greys were showing at the roots (I dont have many, maybe 50 across the head, but I'm super grey paranoid).

Here's what the shade is meant to look like. Some pics below look small but click on them to enlarge.

Per the box this is where shade 3 sits compared to other shades.

Instructions- basically just apply the foam on dry hair, massage  from scalp then gradually work to end of hair, leave for 20-40min depending on how well your hair takes color (I usually do at least 30min-40min as my hair doesn't take color that easily), then rinse and shampoo/ condition.

Here's the effect of color 3 (applied over 4A which was my old shade), photos are taken after about 3 shampoos to show more accurate effect. I expected it not to be as light as the box color given my original shade was darkish. This turned out quite lovely as well, just 1 tinge lighter than 4A and less "cool" in undertone. It doesn't have too much red inside thankfully since I'm not a fan of red-browns on me.

Now, below pictures are for 3 weeks AFTER using shade "3" looks like below, yes there is some natural fading but it's quite even. You can see under some lights it's starting to look more like the color on the box.

3 weeks later and still looks pretty good eh? I didn't particularly use a masque or hair serum before taking any of these photos, they are taken immediately after shampooing and blowdrying normally (and no, I'm not a blowdry expert either, I don't really use a brush during blowdry, I just use hairdryer then brush my hair through once it's completely dried).

Overall I love the Salon de pro bubble foam hairdyes. They give more grey coverage than Kanebo Prettia, and they do not stink at all. The only complaint I can make is it's quite tiring pumping out the foams at times since it doesn't dispense a whole lot of foam quickly.

Given the length of my hair (about 5cm below armpit) I would say 1 box is just barely enough for my full head application. I still get an even hair color as you can see from the photos and it doesn't look dull or flat either. (I never bothered with highlights in my life). It looks like my natural hair but a shade lighter =)

Thumbs up and 5/5 for these. My hair grows very quickly so I do a full hairdye after 6-8 weeks on average. They retail for about 15USD in Japan and probably you can find them around similar price online (before shipping though).

FYI compared to Kanebo Prettia hair bubble dye in "elegant ash" which is the darkest ash in the range, elegant ash has a tinge more "green" base. I can't say I love either 4A or Elegant Ash better, they are both pretty! (and definitely different). Elegant ash is reviewed HERE .


Canmake Cheek & Cheek Blush Duo #01 Candy Flowers review/ swatch

Canmake Cheek & Cheek blushes are little duo blushes released in early 2011 I think. The old single blushes were still available in the Japanese stores (single color ones in the grid patterns).

The Cheek& Cheek blush duos comes in 4 permanent shades currently (and shade #05 limited edition for holiday 2011 I think).  The color names are:
[01] Candy Flowers

[02] Rose Tiara
[03] Kiss Gerbera
[04] Love Blossom

I'm reviewing #01 Candy Flowers here.

Despite having 4 shades currently, in picture above from the website, you can see once you have maybe 2 out of the 4 the shades are somewhat similar and it is unlikely you really need all 4.

#01 Candy Flower below: comes in a light plastic (but not too cheap looking) compact. These retails for merely 714 Yen full price RRP in Japanese drugstores so that's only less than 8USD. Absolute bargain!

#01 Candy Flowers up close: the left hand side is a soft pastel pink, it's quite a pure pastel pink and does not have peach tones or rose tones inside. The color on the right looks a bit more true orange in real life but in photos it looks more like an orange coral. Both shades have some shimmers inside (mostly silver) , while visible in compact and in photos I consider it subtle on well primed skin.

Also comes with a very miniature blush brush- I consider it rather useless since it is just way too small. Nevertheless for touchups I think it's sufficient. The bristles are very soft which means it often doesn't pick up quite enough powders.

Back of compact, the color code (01) is on top right corner.

I've taken quite a few swatches, the left shade is as I described, a true pastel pink. It doesn't look very 'fake' on the skin as pastel shades sometimes would, as it is sheer and translucent enough.

The right shade applies quite corally peach/ orange on the skin (and very pretty IMO), especially when blended with the pink slightly.

On the bottom of the swatch is the shade when both colors are blended together.

The blended shade outcome is more visible in swatch pic below: you get a soft peachy pink shade. You can add more peach into it by applying a bit more of the orange side.

You can see the very sparse shimmers are only slightly visible in photos.

Overall 5/5 for these blushes, especially given the price. I mean they are not going to be better than Jill Stuart blush quads (which these were often initially compared with), but the pigmentation is decent and colors are gorgeous. The finish is also lovely if you use a proper blush brush.

I do not experience fading or oxidation with this blush even after a full 8 hour wear.

I picked a few of the other colors from the same range which I will review overtime.


Sofina Beaute Whitening Day Protector sp review/ swatch (2011 collection)

This might seem a bit de javu as even I was checking myself whether I have reviewed this before. Yes yet another Sofina SPF sunscreen/day moisturiser review.

This probably shows how much I love Sofina's SPF day moisturisers as this is easily my 5th or 6th bottle of various Sofina sunscreens. Funnily enough it's always been a different one from different Sofina lines to date, as Sofina simply has a lot of different lines targeted at different consumer groups and age groups etc.

This is from Sofina Beaute line, the subline is the Whitening range.  Personally I find it almost identical to the Sofina Beaute UV Cut Milk SPF50 moist  which I reviewed before. Other than this is from the whitening line.

The product packaging is mainly white in the whitening line, other than that the nozzle, content , scent are all very similar.

This one is also SPF 50+ PA+++.

It says after cleansing, apply toner then this. (This is intended to be a SPF day moisturiser, so you do not need a separate sunscreen or moisturiser to be used in conjunction with this. However I do sometimes use my usual face serum (lately it's been the Fancl White Essence ) before using this and it seems to layer just fine.

The bottle contains 32ml, lasts for a good few months.

 Very simplistic and pretty packaging:

Again, a nozzle opening, which dispense the right amount easily and you can control the amount that comes out.

Quick swatch- you can see it is on the more runny side. It is not oily or super 'slick' like some other silicone or those 'liquidpaper-like' Japanese sunscreens (they tend to dry very quickly but has a uncomfortable overly smooth and slightly tight feeling due to the silicone content).  That being said , those with dry skin might find this not moisturising enough.

Spreaded out: you can see it sinks in quickly and leaves minimal shine. No whitecast either.

Overall easily my daily SPF moisturiser. I have not experienced clogged pores with this and find it easily removed with my  usual makeup cleansers. On my slightly dry cheeks in winter I do need a moisture boost so I sometimes even use a little bit of moisturising gel underneath- however this is also the main advantage of this moisturiser- it is not super oily or thick which means it is very easy to layer with other skincare as needed.

Overall 5/5. If you haven't tried Sofina sunscreens you really should (though most people have a love or hate relationship with this) but I really do recommend trying it.


Kanebo Coffret D'or Nail Color PK155 (2011) swatch / review

This is part of the Japan haul, for Kanebo Coffret D'or new 2011 nail polish collections. The bottles are now in a roundish bottle (each contains 8ml), as opposed to the squarish ones from 2010.

The consistency has not varied much against 2010 versions, i.e. it depends on which color and finish you get. While the color codes do not spell out the finishes, I believe when marketing the product Coffret D'or does allocate the polishes into 'quardrants' like shine, clear, shimmer etc for different finishes.

In the bottle it looks like a slightly sheer iridescent light pink , not a full pearl to give a pearlised finish or that opacity, but more like very very fine shimmers that more resembles an iridescence.

On the nails it reminds me of OPI Princesses Rule! or something, but not as sparkly but just the color base is similar. Sheerish pink. It does not offer full coverage even with 2 or 3 coats, it will still be sheer, just that the iridescence increases.

Now, here comes the bit where I explain why I do not love this polish- it's a bit plain, while in photos it does show up as a pretty soft lightly sparkly pink, in real life there are some random 'glitters' spreaded throughout. Which means the surface does not feel flat and it actually makes it look uneven in real life (you can actually feel the bumpiness too). The glitters are just so unnecessary additions to this shade.

See below photo. It still doesn't quite capture the very sparse glitters but  you can see the surface looks a bit uneven on one of the finger tips.

The finish is also not fully glossy and shiny- there is some gloss to it but not the usual high-shine I would expect from a good quality polish. I didn't follow with a topcoat.

It still lasting well after 3 days though- have not experienced chipping yet.

Overall 4/5 for the wear but 2.5/5 for the color and finish. It is just somewhat lacking. If this was priced at a drugstore price for like $3USD or 4 USD a bottle that's fine with me, but Coffret D'or polishes are a bit pricier than that (depending on whether you bought from discounted drugstores or not you are probably still looking at 8USD+ ).


Japan holiday haul....part 1

Yes I actually just came back from Japan =) Honestly I would have thought I'd buy a lot more beauty products, but with the current Yen exchange rate (plus I also stopped over in HK), buying in Japan actually ended up being quite costly.

Drugstore brands like Majolica, Kate, Lavshuca, it's quite likely you can find it cheaper in HK.

However things like Visee, Sofina (including Aube Couture and other sofina lines), Kiss Me , Cezanne etc, it's worth buying in Japan, just shop around a few more drugstores- I found a drugstore in Shibuya that had Kose and Maquillage lines at 30%~40% off RRP (the largest drugstore chains usually go as much as 20-30% off only). Brands like Majolica Majorca and Canmake I didn't see get discounted anywhere (but I'd say I went into about 10 drugstores at most, including some Plaza stores).

I still didn't go crazy though-because with internet shopping now and strong AUD, it is highly likely I would be able to buy a lot of things online including shipping at potentially same or cheaper prices, so I only really bought items that were hard to find online or were 'cheap' and I didn't feel I needed to research much online before purchasing.

I actually didn't buy anything from department stores given the high yen, and knowing myself I'd turn into the " I will take this, and that, and this, and that " instantly should I be in front of an actual testing counter full of beautiful makeup lol, maybe I should have checked out the Addict line and things like Suqqu and Elegance (from Albion) etc though.
Haul picture above, click to enlarge, but I'll review them all eventually. This was first group picture a few days into the trip, I bought a bit more bits and pieces which arent included here.

Yes they are mostly blushes, if you can spot it there are like 4 canmake blushes in the middle...they were only 500 (creme blush)-650 (powder blush duos) yen each which is like 8USD or something each, so my hand slipped easily.

On the bottle middle are some Visee xmas limited edition eyeshadow (which I started using already) plus LE lipgloss.

Also on middle left are the two LE xmas blushes for Lavshuca.

More reviews to follow! =)


Apivita Express Beauty with Pomegranate revitalizing and radiance face mask review

Apivita is a Greek brand that seems to be selling at a slightly more inflated price in various parts of Asia (e.g. Taiwan, Hong Kong). The face masks probably retail for around 220-260HKD for a box of about 8 satchets of masks which is quite dear at like 30USD.

These are basically 'smaller' and more portable mask satchets, it's basically a creamy rinse off type of mask as opposed to sheet masks.

The actual satchets are attached like these, in sets of 2, you just tear one off.

Individual satchets look like this:

Directions for use, basically on cleansed skin, apply on mask, massage in, leave for 10min then rinse and pat dry, follow with other usual skincares.

It looks like this once I squeeze it out- there are a few random red dots which are like some sort of pomegranate seed granules perhaps? They do not feel abrasive or sharp, and doesn't seem to completely dissolve either when massaged in.

The consistency is creamy but not 'oily', it's relatively light.

Here it is massaged on my face- honestly 1 satchet provides way plenty, I used the rest on my decolletage area and it was still hard to use it up.

It did feel a bit "warm" when massaged in, I'm not sure but it could be some sort of essential oil , not quite peppermint sort of tingly 'warm' feeling but definitely something there. 

It also feels a bit more 'slippery' once massaged into face, likely due to the olive oil/ sunflower oil content also listed which provides some slip for the mask.

I left it on after shower, for 10 minutes, before rinsing off. It rinses off easily with warm water.

My face did look 'slightly' more radiant (but this is often due to the increased moisture content in the skin after using a mask). The mask is supposed to boost radiance and revitalise, so I suppose maybe it's the mask working. To be honest I didn't feel too much of a difference especially the next day. Sometimes when I use a mask the night before, the next day I would normally feel my skin is more plump/ moisturised/ less tired looking and makeup goes on more easily etc, but not so much this mask.

I did not experience any breakouts after using this.

Overall rating 3/5. If I used up the whole box and notice anything different, I shall report, otherwise it feels very average to me.