Mentholatum Rohto Hada Labo Gokujyun Super Hyaluronic Acid Paper Mask (2012) review

Rohto group is affiliated with Mentholatum group I believe- and the Hada Labo line is one of their signature drugstore lines in recent years, features Hyaluronic Acid as the key active ingredient in its "Gokujyun" line, which means "super moist". 

The whole line is targeted at providing ultra moisturisation for dry and normal skin. (For combo and oily skin, I think probably around half the product line is suitable). 

I'm reviewing the facial masks today, which are sheet masks, there are 4 sachets in a box, and a box retails for about 9-12USD in Japan, depending on where  you get it.

Back of the box etc: 
I'm not sure as to the rather lack of English labels on the whole Gokujyun line- in fact most of the products probably don't really have a full English label name on it.

Individual satchets look like this:

Each sachet contains 1 sheet mask, before you unfold it, it looks like below:

You can also see the liquid inside is rather abundant, there's enough left in the sachet to be massaged over body as a moisturiser, which is what I normally do.

Unfolded and apply to face in pic below:

The paper mask material is pretty standard, not too thin and not too thick. There are various 'cuts' on the mask to ensure it adheres to face well. Personally I found it to be average, it stayed put, not fully wrapping every inch of the skin area, but but did the job.

I'm not a huge believer of before and after pictures when it comes to face masks, because there's no real skincare that should make a 'wow' difference immediately, and if you put enough moisture in the skin, usually it does look plumpier and nicer (which happens after showers anyway). 

The instruction says leave on for 10-15min , then remove, then pat in any residual amount until absorbed. You do not need to rinse it off or apply other skincare afterwards.

I have combination sensitive skin- very prone to congestions if using any products my skin don't like, but don't get that much acne anymore. A tad oily and larger pores in t-zone, but drier cheeks.

I've used the box up, first time I tried a solid 25 minutes, on a hot summer day. This is probably a bit too moitsturising for summer, as I found it slightly sticky both during and after application.  I think my skin also didn't like it, as the next day I can feel a few bumps coming up right away- either from irritation or congestion. But the rest of the skin did feel plump and moisturised.

Subsequently I used it on cooler days, and before sleep. I applied for about 15-20min then removed. This worked far better- no irritations, no congestion, next day my makeup went on like a dream, no flakies and skin looked like it was perfectly moisturised. Throughout the day though I did get a little bit oily a bit quicker especially in t-zone, but easily fixed with a blotting paper.

Overall rating is 4/5. I'd easily use these again, they are basic masks that delivers what it promises- moisturisation. Definitely do not recommend for those who feel they have oily skin. This also feels more like a spring/autumn or winter skincare rather than summer. 


Orbis Nail Color Series #8751 Passion Berry review/ swatch

I was giving my nails a bit of a rest with polishes, but here I go again. Today I'm wearing the Orbis nail color series in shade #8751, English color name is 'Passion Berry', which is described as a red berry with gold pearls.

Everytime I try one of my Orbis nail colors (still have many untried ones), I always get a pleasant surprise with the quality- they are on par with OPI polishes, smooth, longwearing, solid colors, no streaks and good wear. I find the brush heads to be easy to handle for precision application as well (i.e. I can watch TV while applying this rather quickly).

In the bottle it looks like a pinked-red berry with subtle gold pearls. I call them pearls as they are really fine and can't really be called shimmers. Yet the gold pearling is there, so there's a gold base rather than just an iridescence. 

As with most Orbis products they come in minimalistic packaging:

Here it is below, with two coats, I didn't really purposely apply a thinner or thicker coat, just two standard coats. Base coat is Paul & Joe and top coat is Coffret D'or topcoat (which isn't as fast drying as seche vite, but has a nice gloss , easy spreadbility and is still rather dry in 20 minutes).

I think this pic below is a bit too much flash so paler than in real life

When the shade is indoors under white light it's a bit more red than pink, like the picture below. I would call it more like a creme-pink-berry rose with gold pearls. The color is full, and bright without being too bold, it's such a pretty shade for spring and summer. The gold pearling does wonders- it's similar finish to OPI Love Me Tender polish (in terms of the gold pearl), the base color is definitely differently though 

Overall rating 4/5, it applies so nicely, only mark deducted is really for my own color preference, I prefer the look in my first few photos (more a softer pink rose), than in real life where the base color can look a bit more like a bolder pink-rose.


Clairol Nice'n Easy Colour Blend Hair Dye #114 Natural Light Ash Brown review

For the first time, this is NOT a review of any bubble hair dye or foam hair dye, this is a standard hair dye that's just creme in consistency.

Again, I have natural Asian black hair, it's not a stark black but more like blackened brown naturally. I have a bit of grey (less than 1%) so using drugstore branded hairdyes is just my way of avoiding spending too much money at hairdressers every 6 weeks. I usually use two or three at home hair dyes (each time at least 4-8 weeks apart), then usually followed by a professional hair dye and cut at the hairdressers.

I picked shade 114 natural light ash brown, it still looks sort of medium dark on the pack


Basically you get globes, conditioner, and the other two bottles are the dyes. 

You mix the die together and apply with the bottle on the very left in picture above.


Here's my hair color before, it's already faded, and was taking on a more reddy/ mid brown tinge, which in sunlight makes my hair look dull and lacklustre.

I had a bit of difficulty with applying the clairol one. There's no applicator per se, they just tell you to separate hair into small strands, and apply from the bottle nozzle and massage in with fingers. Personally I have way too much hair to do it all myself. So I got an old plastic comb, squeezed some on the hair and some on the comb then brushed through main areas of concern (e.g. regrow and greys). I don't have too many greys, at most 1% of my hair, but I'd like to cover them as much as possible.

The whole application process took a good 20 minutes, and personally 1 box wasn't quite enough for my long hair, the end of my hair didn't really get much product on it.

I left the dye on for a good 35 minutes (excludes the 20 minute it took to apply), then rinsed my hair thoroughly. Then used the enclosed conditioner (which was ok, nothing spectacular), and rinsed again thoroughly.

AFTER pictures are all below:

You can see it did come out well, like the box color, especially in picture below, it wasn't as 'ash' as I expected, but I liked how it wasn't warm toned and neutralised the previous brassiness.

Below pictures are AFTER 4 weeks- I took these right before I was doing another different hair dye again (separate review to follow later).

After 4 weeks I had some issues with the regrowth area, I don't think I got thorough grey coverage , so the regrowth looked quite obvious, and even for normal black hair area the regrowth was still very obvious because in the areas where I applied the hair dye thoroughly , it took on color, and also faded in the same localised area, making the regrowth patch glaringly obvious.

Indoors it was still ok

Outdoor pictures below, you can see pictures below there's a lot more red based brown appearing, which I quite dislike, because it makes the regrowth section very obvious and in real life it makes my hair texture look worse.

Again, here you can see it's now became a warm brown.

Ovreall I thought for a boxed creme dye for like $15AUD retail, it delivered what it promised. However as with all creme hair dye the real trick is probably getting an even application and make sure you have more than enough dye for your hair. I thought the brushing through I did with a comb helped with color distribution, but I think a lot of work was still needed with your fingers to rub in the color to ensure all strands are coated, especially if you have long and a lot of hair like me. 

It had a typical ammonia sort of hair dye smell, was not too bad.

Personally I don't think I will go back to normal hair dye other than bubble foam types anymore, it's just too troublesome for at home application to achieve an even result, and the instructions always say "avoid scalp application", which is a bit silly if you are trying to get as much grey coverage as possible. I didn't really follow that instruction and still rubbed it well into the roots, it did sting the scalp a little bit but didn't leave any other resulting irritations once rinsed clear.

Rating is 4/5. It's a nice color, works well if you have short hair (probably anything above shoulder length). It came out a bit darker than on the box but stayed like the box color for a good 2-3 weeks. However the fading was pretty marked after about 4 weeks and I thought the regrowth was far more obvious than bubble foam type of hair dye.