Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Clean Slate: Best Japanese Makeup Removers (Budget Version)

[As published on HERE]
Do you double-cleanse your skin? If your answer is yes, good for you! If you answered no, it’s time you started making it a habit. Waterproof products like sunblock, foundation and eye makeup cannot be thoroughly removed with just cleansing foam. You need something stronger and more heavy-duty to do the job for you, and the best way to do it is to double-cleanse.
I’m often experimenting with beauty products, and after subjecting myself as guinea pig multiple times, I’ve come to the conclusion that Japanese skincare works best. Maybe it’s because Japanese brands are so dedicated when it comes to every single detail. Nothing is left out, and you know you’re getting your money’s worth, even if it’s just a drugstore product. And because it’s a Japanese thing to make one product in a hundred different types, you’ll be able to find a texture that suits you.
Here are the best makeup removers under RM50, handpicked just for you by Emmagem:

Biore Mild Cleansing Liquid
Price: RM29.90
Infused with 1/3 beauty essence, this water-based cleanser transforms into a milky lotion upon contact with water. Kind of like the usual oil-to-milk cleansers, but more impressive at it doesn’t leave this oily film on the skin’s surface, and your face still feels like it can breathe. A little goes a really loooooong way; a 20-sen (or new 50-sen) amount cleanses the face and neck properly. Massage it on a dry face to remove waterproof makeup (we tried it with mascara – it works), and add water to emulsify. Rinse off, and ta-da! Smooth, clean skin. No need to follow with cleansing foam!

Bifesta Cleansing Lotion
Price: RM32.90
I used to remove my foundation with cleansing milk, but after a while I found it quite troublesome. Cotton pads don’t absorb lotion well, leaving a great big goopy mess on my hands. Tissues dissolve quickly and leave bits stuck to my face, which is a pain to clean. And then I discovered Bifesta. I actually got it as a gift, and my initial reaction was ‘uh what is this watery makeup remover thing’. But 2 to 3 pumps on a cotton pad leaves my face completely devoid of foundation (I use heavy eye makeup, so I remove that with a bi-phase eye makeup remover)! It also comes in different variants to suit different skin types (oily, dull, ageing, dry).


Senka Perfect Gel
Price: RM19.90
If you don’t like working with watery products, then this gel is for you. Thick and creamy, it melts onto the skin to dissolve even waterproof makeup. You can wipe it off and follow with your usual cleansing foam, or rinse it off with water. This is definitely great for the woman who travels often, as it comes in a flexible flip-top tube instead of a flimsy pump bottle that’s prone to leaking. Like Biore Mild Cleansing Liquid, Senka Perfect Gel is also infused with moisturising serum to prevent skin from feeling taut after makeup removal. (If you’re wondering, Senka belongs to Shiseido, rest assured the quality’s amazing for the price tag!)

Kanebo Freshel Cleansing Cream
Price: RM46.90
Prefer to remove makeup the traditional way? You can go old-school without worrying about burdening your skin with heavy ingredients. This lightweight cleansing cream contains soft massaging powder that removes makeup, clears pores and gets rid of dead skin cells, all at one go. Cleansing cream is great for girls who love a good facial massage in the evening. Fruit acids and citrus peel exfoliate skin for a smoother appearance, while collagen replenishes moisture. Recommended for dry skin types, as cream-based makeup removers can be quite rich in emollients.

hada labo hydrating make up remover
Hada Labo Moisturising Makeup Remover
Price: RM39.90
Ladies who don’t wear much makeup will find this jelly-like makeup remover convenient; the clear water-based formula removes light makeup effectively and quickly. It contains Hada Labo’s signature hyaluronic acid for a bouncy, ‘baby’s bottom’ complexion. The refreshing texture makes it perfect for our horrible climate, and girls with oily skin will find this a breeze to use as it doesn’t clog pores or cause breakouts. Word of caution, though: we don’t recommend using this to remove eye makeup. It takes forever and it stings like a b***h. Keep away from your delicate eyes!

Bonus Item:
Lam Sam Yick Cleansing Brushes
Price: HKD158 – HKD218 (approx. RM67 – RM93)
Taiwanese brush maker Lam Sam Yick started out making calligraphy brushes, but has since expanded their product line to include makeup brushes and even skincare cleansing brushes under a sub-brand known as LSY. Although not cheap, LSY’s cleansing brushes are definitely a good investment, and much cheaper than the automated cleansing brushes in the market. Created hand-in-hand with renowned beauty consultant Liu Yen (who works extensively with beauty guru Niu Er), these brushes are made of ultra-fine fibres that reach into the skin to draw out impurities when used together with cleansing foam. Take your pick from a blackhead-cleansing brush, an all-over cleansing brush or a flat, tapered brush that promises to sculpt a V-shaped jawline.
Sounds interesting, eh?

(Images: and respective brand websites)

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