SKIN AQUA Tone Up UV Essence

SKIN AQUA Tone Up UV Essence  740yen*

Some people say western beauty products are too serious and boring, but I LOVE exploring them because their approach tends to be different from what I am used to with Japanese products which I find very unique and interesting. I enjoy trying out different products from the brands unavailable in Japan, and often encounter amazing products.

That being said, I think Japanese UV protectants are the best. It is hard to find a Japanese sunscreen that smells funky, makes the skin look super pale and feels sticky. I am pretty sure Japanese brands have raised the level of the quality in the market.

One of the most spotlighted UV protectants is SKIN AQUA Tone Up UV Essence. It can be found at the drugstores and stores like Tokyu Hands and Loft, and easily accessible. Not only does it have a strong UV protection (SPF50 PA++++), its tinted gel evens out the skin tone and make it look fresh prior to makeup application. Of course it can be used on the body too, but I personally prefer using this on my face due to the colour correct effect.

They also have a spray version called ‘Tone Up UV Spray’ which is easier to apply on your body such as your back or the back of your legs.

It kind of looks greyish in the photos, but it is more like lavender in person. Lavender is mixture of blue, which gives ‘clearness’ to the skin (you know Japanese people LOVE having clearness on their skin) and red, which gives a rosy tint and a healthy glow. Which means it instantly improves your complexion.

The gel formula with a touch of pearl, glides on smoothly on the skin without making it feel sticky or greasy. It instantly makes the skin brighter and illuminating, which is absolutely perfect before makeup. It is completely invisible but corrects the skin tone in the most subtle way.

In terms of the smell, I wouldn’t say it’s completely free from the chemical smell that typical sunscreens have, but it’ll go away after a couple of minutes. It leaves a floral scent like shampoo on the skin which is pretty nice. I am very sensitive when it comes to ‘that smell’ but my alarm hasn’t gone on when I applied this product 😉 If you’re looking for a UV protectant that works as something else too, you may want to add it to your wishlist!


Limited edition: RAFRA Balm Orange Cacao&Orange Peel

RAFRA Balm Orange Cacao&Orange Peel  2,200yen

One of the Japanese beauty products that always please my friends from overseas is RAFRA Balm Orange. I have many products I tend to recommend whenever I take my foreign friends shopping during their visit in Tokyo, but there is no other product that impresses them than RAFRA.

I am a big fan of their original Balm Orange, which I’ve used up more than 10 jars of, but what I enjoy even more is their limited edition come out twice a year. I really liked Balm Orange Green Tea which was brought out in summer 2017, the rare combination of green tea and fresh orange was kind of addictive.

Their latest limited edition is Balm Orange Cacao&Orange Peel, which came out in January. It’s not sold online but available at stores like PLAZA, LOFT and Tokyu Hands. You should definitely grab one if you’ve spotted this somewhere because their limited editions tend to sell out quickly.

The texture is very similar to the original, but I find it a little thicker and harder to distribute on the whole face especially during winter when the temperature is low. You might want to add a bit of warm water to make it easier to massage after applying the balm on the skin.

And another difference is the amount -the original comes in two sizes; one is 100g and another is 200g, whereas Cacao&Orange Peel is only 60g which of course made the jar smaller too. I find it a little hard to put my finger in there to scoop a generous amount of product, and I’ve gone through my first jar very quickly.

For those who are not familiar with the cleansing balm, let me tell you what it does. Balm Orange works as…
– makeup remover
– morning cleanser
– mild exfoliator
– skin softener

The best part of this cleansing balm is how quickly and easily it removes my makeup including waterproof eyeliner and mascara. I’ve never felt a need of using an eye makeup remover before cleansing my face with this product, because as you can see in the photos, it removes literally everything.

There are two unique ingredients in Balm Orange Cacao&Orange Peel; moisturising Almond Oil and Cacao Polyphenol full of antioxidant. I am not sure if Cacao Polyphenol made a difference to my skin, but I could feel the moisturisation of Almond Oil for sure.

This winter was one of the driest winter ever and my skin felt super dry and sensitive. I switch my cleanser from the original Balm Orange to Balm Orange Cacao&Orange Peel when it came out in January, and it improved my skin instantly. It was surprising how much difference can a cleanser make.

This product transforms the cleansing process really enjoyable and relaxing especially with the warming sensation makes me feel like I am having a spa treatment. Of course the scent is heavenly too, the original Balm Orange smells like fresh orange juice whereas this limited edition smells literally like chocolate orange. YUM!

Unfortunately RAFRA isn’t widely available internationally, but you will be able to find some websites where you can get their products from when you google. Based on my research I believe Kirei Station is carrying this limited edition, and there are some other websites selling the original Balm Orange as well as the limited editions came out in the past.

For my in-depth review on the original Balm Orange can be read HERE but be prepared for the super low quality photos, it’s written 3.5 years ago…!

Welcome to Beau Tea Time in Tokyo!

This is something I have been wanting to do -moving my blog from blogger to WordPress, just like I’ve moved my Japanese blog from Ameblo to WordPress.

I’d already had my blog ‘Beau Tea Time’ where I share my reviews on beauty products from all over the world in Japanese. I didn’t want to go through the hustle to rent a server, create my own domein and setup a new WordPress acount again, so decided to make a subdomein under Beau Tea Time.

It changed the name of my blog, from The Beauty Maniac in Tokyo to Beau Tea Time in Japan, which made me realised just now that my email address doesn’t make sense now, and I must reorder my business card which I must have more than 50 in hand. But oh well.

I still want to change the size of the text (it’s too small isn’t it?) and also create some more gap between the header and the latest post but just wanted to say hello and ask how you find my new blog! New posts are (hopefully) coming up soon…!