Things to Buy in Japan #1: Bath Salts–a.k.a. An Ode to Kikiyu

I’ve started a new series! It is called, cryptically, ‘Things to Buy in Japan’. It is about things that you should buy in Japan. Not so cryptic. Anyway of course it will be by no means a full list, but it might be a useful guide for those going to Japan for the first time and who are, understandably, overwhelmed by all the lovely things to buy.

I freaking love baths. They are basically like being in bed, but the bed is filled with warm water and there’s no pillow and it’s really difficult to pick up soap in it.

Apart from that, pretty much exactly the same. Usually I’m pretty content to just sit in a bath and day dream for an hour, but my bathroom in Japan was a really horrible beige caramel colour (and it was super tiny but still made room for a cute little half bath) so I would close my eyes and listen to audiobooks. I finished Gone with the Wind in 5 weeks.

Anyway, that bit was there to bring to me to my main point (but I think I got lost on the way):

I like Bath Salts.

AND

Bath Salts are big in Japan.

(popularity-wise…not size)

Most of the drugstores I went to devoted at least half an aisle to various brands of bath salts, with German brands like Kneipp featuring pretty prominently along with a lot of home-grown Japanese brands. There are a number of bath salt varieties available in Japan, and on your travels you’ll mostly likely find bath salts:

  • Bloodtype Bath - doesn't sound creepy at allfor your blood-type
  • that make you slimmer
  • that smell like your favourite cocktail
  • that turn your bath bright pink and basically make it amazing.
  • to help clear your pores
  • to make you sweat
  • to whiten your skin
  • to ease muscle pain
  • to (the most outlandish) hydrate your skin

Most Bath Salts in Japan come in little sachets (enough for one bath) that cost from 100 yen (about $1.20/£0.80) to 300 yen. This means they make great little souvenirs as they’re not very expensive and they don’t take up much space. It also means – if you’re not the souvenir type – you can try out a whole bunch of them yourself without taking a huge financial hit.

My Pick

The bath salts I love the most are these:

Kikiyu

Kikiyu Clay Bath Salts for Dry skin and Eczema.

Kikiyu Big and SmallThese bath salts come in single-use sachets and big boxes, and I know that I’m going to buy as many of those boxes as I can when I next go to Japan. This variety of Kikiyu Bath Salts (there are many – this type is always in a pinky box/sachet) is really my absolute favourite – it soothes irritated skin, it moisturises it, it softens it and it smells lovely. It’s not one of the exciting, novel ones but if you’re after something that really pampers you without the fear of it irritating your skin, I’d strongly recommend you get it. (and buy some for me while you’re at it!)

How to Buy

Kneipp Bath SaltsEvery drug store I went to in Japan stocked bath salts, and you can also find a few in convenience stores sometimes. They’re not necessarily always with other bath-related goods so be sure to look around, tell-tale signs are obviously small packets of stuff and you’ll most likely see quite a bit of Kneipp products like the one on the right as well.

Check out these two amazing posts (the first one actually introduced me to the Kikiyu salts I mentioned above) that have more reviews and pictures of bath salts, so you have more of an idea what to look for.

My Great Japanese Bath Experiment (Beauty Box)

Bathing, Japanese Bath Salts and ASOS Sales Picks! (Bang Bang She Shoots)

PoresSome vocab you may see:

  • Pores – 毛穴 (ke-ana)
  • White – 白 (shi-ro)
  • Sweat – 汗 (a-se)
  • Moisture (as in moisturising) – うるおい (uru-oi)

Here is the cosme.net link to their top ranking bath salts, it’s in Japanese but the images give you an idea of what popular bath salts look like.

Also, there is a plug-in available for firefox (and I’m sure chrome etc. users could find an equivalent plug-in with a quick search) called rikai chan, which, when activated, will basically give you the definitions of any Japanese word on a page, so even if you can’t read Japanese you can hover over the text and get a general gist of the important points.

images for this post from here, here, here, here, and here 


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Birthday Round-Up!

This is like a Friday Round-Up except it’s on my Birthday (okay well actually the day after)! Smart huh?

purchases

Ok so as I’m alone in Japan for my Birthday, I took it upon myself to buy a few presents, as you do. I am ridiculously good at buying presents for myself, I loved all of them!

So first off I bought a few pretty things from the drugstore.

products

Lavshuca Moist Melting Rouge in 3 colours: RD-4, RD-3, and PK-5. So far I love these (and I will review them!). They are great MLBB colours with a formula that’s really easy to wear. They feel like a really pigmented balm. Their lasting power is better than I had expected as well.

Kate Gel Eyeliner in BK-2. I talked in my November Round-up about Kate Eyeliners but at that point I didn’t love them. This one has converted me though. Lasting power is incredible but the thing I love most about this eyeliner is its colour. It is brown but it has very little redness in it, unlike MAC Dipdown (I’ll post comparison swatches). Because of this it doesn’t bring out as much redness in and around my eyes, so I love it!

Integrate Gracy Cheek Colour in Rose 300. I was on the look out for a matte blush and stumbled across this one. This shade is exactly the colour of my natural blush so I use it for a really natural look. It blends out really easily but this compromises staying power. I have still been wearing it every day since I got it though.

I also caved and bought the new Majolica Majorca perfume. It took me a while to decide because I didn’t LOVE the scent, I just thought it was pleasant. In the end I bought it because the scent lasts so long, it’s easy to apply and on the day I tested it, I got nothing but compliments.

The night before my Birthday my Fyrinnae order arrived! I think their impeccable timing proves, as we all suspected, that Fyrinnae are indeed magic. Not only that, the order was in a parcel that was thin enough to fit into the dorm mailbox which meant I didn’t have to arrange redelivery or anything! Yay!

Fyrinnae

Obviously there are swatches to come but I just had to take a photo when I got them all. Fyrinnae enthusiasts will probably notice I chose very safe colours: neutrals and a few golds thrown in. La Noche, however, is bright blue: I couldn’t just order neutrals from a company with such special bright shades.

I am really excited to try Damn Paladins as it looks like a lovely grey-taupe. And of course Ashes will be one of the first I try because it is such a nice grey shade. Can you tell I like grey?

Recently I have been buying bath salts to try. In Japan there is a huge range of bath salts so my choice pretty much depended on which packaging was prettiest and which ones didn’t smell like ginger (I hate that smell). Luckily, Yu Ming just posted about Japanese Bath Salts on Beauty Box so I now have some idea of what to buy. In fact today I went out to get the Kikiyu bath salts so I’m excited to use them tonight!

A guide to getting Mad Men’s Joan Holloway look? Yes please!

Spiders are scary and Allie’s post tells me my fear makes sense.

And to finish, here is my birthday cake! It may look like ice cream to you, but I was pretending it was cake! Yummy.Ice cream